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Dr. N. RAMESAN, m.a., ph.D., i.a.s. 
Secretary to Govt. 

Govijrnment of Andhra Pradesh 

Foreword by 

Scf-.CS. It, IMtabhi Raman 

Fiddished by 

Srimad Appayya Dikshitendra Granthavali 
Prakasana Samithi 


India 1972 

Published by : 

Srimad Appayya Dikshitendra Granthavali Prakasana Sonuthi, 

Printed at : 

The Andhra Pradesh Govt. Text-book Press, 
N^int Compound, Hyderabad-4. 

Copies can be had from the 
Sole distributors: 

B. G. Paul & Co., 

No. 4, Francis Joseph Street, 


Dedication by the author 

This book is respectfully dedicated to 



By whose Grace 
I am what I am 

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STTC^r: 'TT^^F^T 


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24 - 9-1972 


We discern a triple stream flowing to make a confluence “ Triveni ” 
of Hindu religious life and thought from time immemorial. The first 
is represented by great Grahasthas—householders—from the Saptha 
Rishis downwards. Sita Devi in the Sundara Kanda of the Ramayana 
refers to connubial perfection of the Sage Vashishta and his pathni 
Arundathi. Fulfilling his various duties to the family and the community, 
the householder forms the back-bone of our civilization. He supports 
the Brahmachari and Sanyasi alike. In the Upanishads we find Sage 
Yagnavalkya preaching and practising Thiaga—living in the world 
without being worldly. He and his illustrious disciple, King Janaka, 
demonstrated that there was no permanence or lasting happiness in 
mere worldly possessions and achievements. 

The second stream is represented by philosophers and saints 
gradually retiring from the householder’s ashram and finally becoming 
sanyasins. To this category belonged many Rishis and Emperors, so 
well described by immortal Kalidasa in his Raghuvamsa. 

In the third stream we find Sages who renounced the world 
even as Brahmacharis. From Suka Brahmam downwards to the great 
Sankaracharya, Sadasiva Brahmendra and Sri Ramana Maharshi of 
recent times, we have illustrious examples of such saints and sages. 
To-day in our midst are living the respected Jagad Gurus Sankara- 
charyas of Sri Sringeri Sarada and Kanchi Kamakoti Peetams. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita belongs to the first category. In his case 
also we find renunciation of worldly possessions. He used the gold 
and other items of property given to him by his patrons for religious 
and educational objects. He had around him more than 500 scholars 
and disciples. He maintained them and distributed his wealth to the 
needy and the poor while providing also for his children and the family. 
The author has done well to compare and contrast the lives of Adi 
Sankara and Sri Appayya Diksloita. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita was born in the second decade of the 
sixteenth century in Adayapalam, a hamlet in present day North Arcot 
district, near Chetpat. His father Brahmasri Rangaraja Dikshitar, was 
a great scholar well-known in South India. Sri Appayya was named 
Vinayakasubrahmanyam. It is common to find the grandsons named 
after the grandfather, particularly in the northern districts of Tamil 
Nadu. Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya in his book “ Feathers and Stones ” 
refers to the succession of the names of Ramaswami and Pattabhiraman 


for many generations in our family. It is also common in these areas 
to confer pet names on children much to the confusion of biographers 
and historians. This was mainly due to the respect the community 
showed to the distinguished ancestor whose name the grandchild bore. 
This was how Vinayakasubrahmanyam was called Appayya and his 
brother Achan. Names like these as also Appukutti, Ayya Dikshitar 
occurred often in the Vamsavali—genealogical tree of the Dikshitar 

We find in some treatises doubts expressed with regard to the exact 
date of birth of Sri Appayya Dikshita. Excepting the reference to his 
authorship in Dikshita’s poetical and philosophical works, one does not 
get much biographical data about him. This is a common feature in 
India’s ancient and long history. The fundamental Hindu belief is that 
all manifestations on earth are impermanent and the universal spirit 
which was in all things moving and unmoving, alone mattered. This 
approach is well brought out ir the Bhagavad Gita, where the Lord 
says that “all is Brahmam—^the otfering in Yagna, the offerer, the fire and 
the ghee are all Brahmam which alone is reached by those evolved souls 
whose thoughts are fixed in Brahmam— 

wfsFH 11 

It is not surprising that until recently there have been very few 
western style biographies of our great leaders, saints and sages. One 
never reads the name of the sculptor or the artist concerned in any of 
the ancient temples of India. 

The century to wliich Sri Appayya Dikshita belonged was a peak 
one for human achievements; Shakespeare, his contemporary, was 
writing his plays in England and there was renaissance in Europe. In 
South India there was comparative peace. The raids of Malik Kafur 
and other marauders were things of the past. The Vijayanagar kingdom 
and principahties of Vellore, Karvetnagar and Chittoor were responsible 
for an efflorescence of Hindu thought and culture. The fanaticism of 
Saivite and Vaishnavite creeds which made even the great Ramanuja 
flee to Mysore no doubt continued, but with less violence than before. 
It had evolved into debates and dissertations and rehgious leaders 
sought to convert the rulers to their way of thinking and belief. The 
rulers were great patrons of art and sculpture and sought the company 
of savants and philosophers and bestowed wealth and honours on them. 

Sri Appayya and his brother Achan were brilliant even as boys. 
Sri Appayya’s learning was prodigious. He was not only learned in the 
Vedas but became a master of Vedanta and the Sastras at an young age. 
If one has to classify him in the galaxy of philosophers and writers of 

Bharata Varsha, he may perhaps be called a great Advaitin. His 
treatises like “ Sivarka mani dipika ” in this field are master¬ 
pieces. He was, however, truly catholic in his outlook and studies. It 
is remarkable that his writings on Vishishtadvaita and Dvaita 
philosophies are great works which have been prescribed as classical 
texts’ by the followers of those creeds. He, however, proclaims more 
than once that Eswara, Mahavishnu, Devi are all one. While facing 
the deities at Chidambaram, he sings “ on the one side is Paramatma as 
Lakshmi and her husband and on the other as Uma and Eswara— 

However, like Sri Madhusudana Saraswathi who saw the Brahmam 
in Sri Krishna the boy, w'ith the flute, he ow'ns up to an inborn bias in 
favour of the blue-throated Eswara with his crescent moon on his head 
and Uma by his side, in spite of his being aware that all the manifesta¬ 
tions of Paramatma are one. In his Nyaya Rakshamani which is a 
commentary mainly on the Brahma Sutras, we find him striking 
a path of his own. The Appayya Dikshitar Granthavah has brought 
out this rare work with the blessings of His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya 
Swami of Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam. Even a mere catalogue of 104 of 
his works is bewildering for the immensity of the canvas employed by 
him for expressing his thoughts and his philosophy. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita anticipated the present psychic mental 
and sub-conscious experiments, 400 years ago. He drank the juice of a 
powerful herbal drug — datura — and asked his disciples to write down 
whatever came from him when he was in the deep state of intoxication 
and out of his normal mind. What they have written down is 
astounding ' reading. It is a lucid stotra “ Atmarpana Stuti ” 
praise of Eswara, his Ishta Devata. 

He was a Siddha and a great Yogi. One of his yogic experiments 
was as unique as it was thrilling. In the later years of his life, he was 
subject to attacks of colic pain. He was convinced that it was due to his 
Prarabdha — his past karma. Whenever lie wanted to meditate deeply 
or while worshipping the Almighty, he made a bundle of his towel and 
put it in front of him. By his yogic power he transferred the malady 
to the towel and sat in meditation. His disciples watched the towel 
jumping about the place. To them he explained later on that he trans¬ 
ferred his ailment which was in the form of an evil spirit to the cloth and 
that took it back soon after his meditation was over. 

It is the belief of great sages and saints of India that Nityakarma 
and worship done with faith confers on the adherent enough of peace, 
comfort, and prosperity, for his spiritual pursuits and worldly duties. 
Actually in astrological treatise it has been repeated that predictions 
good or bad, should not be made mechanically where such persons are 
concerned. They may have to face slight misfortunes but they sail 


on the sea of life on an even keel. Sri Appayya exemplified this belief. 
He lived a life full of achievements and honours. The rulers of Vellore 
and nearby places honoured him with reverence and devotion. When 
he entered the Chidambaram temple in his 72nd year at an odd hour, 
the Dikshitars there hurried to get camphor and other things ready for 
the darsan. They little knew that he had come there to shed his mortal 
coil. His famous sloka on that occasion is an epitome of his life and 
work. He says that “in Chidambaram he was praying to reach the Lord’s 
feet; he had lived a full life, his children were good scholars and were 
dutiful. He had lived a happy family life and could ask for nothing 

My father, Dr. C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar, who always spoke with 
reverence and some little pride as a descendant of Sri Dikshita, has 
described him as a “ Polymath ” in the early chapters of “ History of 
My Times ”. The author has quoted him in extenso. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita was born in the Sama Sakha and belonged 
to Bharadwaja Gothra. He refers to the great rishi who played the host 
to Sri Rama in his travel to and from Ayodhya. Sri Dikshita, however, 
expressed a tinge of regret for not being born as a Yajurvedi. He liked 
the chanting of “ Rudram and Chamakam ” very much. He actually 
prayed that in his next birth he must be born a Yajurvedi and in Andhra 
Pradesh. He was deeply impressed with the devotion and learning that 
existed in Andhra Pradesh during his time. 

In spite of fierce debates on the respective superiority of Saivism 
and Vaishnavism, we find mutual regard exhibited by the protagonists 
of those schools. The caste barriers had not become very rigid. One 
of Sri Dikshita’s ancestors married a Vaishnavite lady. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita himself had, it is believed, as his second wife, the daughter of 
Sri Thathachariar, the great Vaishnavite leader. Her parents found it 
difficult to get her marriage fixed in time, and she was about to commit 
suicide. In an amusing incident referred to by him, we learn that on 
his approaching Kanchipuram laden with many honours and riding 
in a palanquin with armed escorts and elephants supplied by the ruler 
of Vellore, an old Aiyengar lady came out of the house to see what the 
tamasha was about. She sees Appayya Dikshita sitting in the palan¬ 
quin at the head of the procession and exclaims that it is after all 
“ Achalu’s husband ”. Sri Appayya Dikshitar in one of his composi¬ 
tions exclaints “ in this hamlet of Kanchipuram, it is only my wife 
Achalu who was famous and not I 

In a famous sloka he sings “ a few wild flowers, bilwa leaves and 
drops of water offered to Eswara is all that is needed to live happily 
and to save one’s soul. Not even doing this, many are condemning 
themselves to misery and want, and are also committing Atma droha.” 


Having praised the Lord, particularly Sri Margabandhu of Virinchipurum. 
in many works, he, like Sri Sankara, says that “ he was committing sins 
by conferring a form to the Formless, by praising One who is beyond 
all thought and speech, and by showing lighted camphor to One who was 
the cause of light and fire”. 

The author Sri Ramesan has displayed deep scholarship and an 
analytical study of the available material on Sri Appayya Dikshita’s 
life and work in this biography. He is in the line of distinguished 
administrators like Sri John Woodroffe, who in the midst of their 
bureaucratic and judicial functions wrote and left behind them valuable 
literary and philosophical works. Students of Advaita are bound 
to benefit by a study of this well brought out book. The author has 
fulfilled the desire of our Guru His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya Swami 
of Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam, with faith and devotion. His Holiness has 
been not a little responsible for the renascent devotion and the Hindu 
way of life in South India during a difficult period of about fifty years. 
His Holiness has inaugurated the scheme for publishing all the works of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. The philosophical world owes a deep debt of 
gratitude to His Holiness. 

C. R. Pattabhi Raman. 




According to Sri Ananthanandaruda Saraswathi 
Swamigal (Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt) and Sri Adayapa- 
lam Ramakrishna Dikshitar, there is no reliable autho¬ 
rity to show that Sri Appayya Dikshita married the 
Vaishnavite lady referred to at page x. 


I do not claim to be a scholar. Nor is this book an original one. 
I do not also claim to have any authoritative knowledge of Sri Appayya’s 
life and teachings. My only qualification for undertaking a task of such 
importance, as compiling a biography of one of our great writers, is that, 
I am one of the large number of admirers of Sri Appayya Dikshita, who 
consider him to be an intrepid thinker, logician, and writer of world 

I belong to no philosophical sect or creed, except that to which 
my own convictions and conscience lead me. As one interested in 
the pursuit of the higher values of life, I have had occasion to study 
the philosophical systems that have developed in our country and 
elsewhere, and from my limited study, it appears to me that the most 
logical and integrating explanations have been given by Sri Appayya 
Dikshita in his works. It is as an expression of that reverence and 
admiration that I feel towards him, that I have ventured to edit this 
biography, bringing together in one volume all the extant traditions. 

The idea of drawing up a critical biography of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita emanated from a casual reference made at one of the meetings 
of the Sri Appayya Dikshitendra Granthavali Prakasan Saniithi, 
Hyderabad. Sri Adayapalam Ramanathan gathered all the materials 
that were published in newspapers and in articles. I was able to get the 
other material required from various libraries and scholars. Much 
of what has been done up to now by others has gone verbatim into this 
work. The date of Sri Appayya Dikshita has been most minutely and 
critically discussed by Sri Y. Mahalinga Sastry, himself a gifted 
author and descendant of Sri Appayya Dikshita, in the Journal of 
Oriental Research. That could not be bettered and it has been produced 
practically verbatim in this book. Similarly his masterly and critical 
assessment of the works and impact of Sri Appayya Dikshita have 
found a place in this, in his own words. I have also drawn freely 
from the published Sanskrit biography of Sri Appayya Dikshita by Sri 
Sivananda Yogi, and the later one by Sri K. V. Subramania Iyer. 
I have also reproduced practically verbatim Sri P. P. S. Sastry’s analysis 
of the bhamati and vivarana systems of advaita. To these and others, 
my respectful thanks are due. 

I have taken considerable pains in referring to the original 
authorities, and whatever may be the other drawbacks of this book, 
the factual data presented here, can be accepted as based on widely 
respected authorities. Excerpts have been given from almost all the 
original books, and I hope that the book as a whole, will present a 
comprehensive glimpse of the life and times of one of our great teachers. 


I proudly confess that I have no special qualifications to boast 
of, either in erudition or in knowledge. I have no prouder title 
than my own name, and the only conceivable honour that I have 
is my own. I am by nature and choice completely removed from 
any academic respect and distinction, and hence it is my proud privilege 
to offend inaccessibly, since, I am in the happy position of committing 
mistakes, without any sacrifice of dignity or prestige, which, I have none 
to lose. However the subject matter of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s 
life and works is so splendid, that no treatment of it, by any one, could 
rob it of its sweeping dignity and grandeur. Some of it has stuck to 
this book, and it is so, inspite of me. 

My thanks are due to my good friend and colleague Sri S. R. 
Ramamurthy, Education Secretary and to our popular Chief Minister 
Sri P. V. Narasimha Rao, who have made available a liberal grant 
to finance the publication of this book. I am also grateful to Sri C. R. 
Pattabi Raman, Barrister-at-law and President of the Prakasan Samithi, 
for his very scholarly foreword to this book. 

My thanks are also due to Sri P. L. Bhandari and Sri I. M. Bhandari, 
of the Sirpur Paper Mills who have been good enough to contribute 
the paper required for this. 

1 am deeply beholden to Sri N. Narayan Rao, Director, Text¬ 
book Press and to Sri G. Ramakrishna Rao, his able Deputy and to all 
staff and workers of the Text-book Press, who have printed this so 
well and so nicely and in record time. 

My personal thanks are due to Sri Ch. Venkateswara Rao my 
P.A. and to Sri V. Raghaviah of the Telugu Academy who have typed 
the whole book as a labour of love. 

Last but not least, my special thanks are due to my wife Smt. Thri- 
purasundari Ramesan who has been so full of understanding and accom¬ 
modation, in dealing with an otherwise busy husband, who chose to 
be beset in his spare time, by the wayword moods of a literary research 

I have dedicated this book, as all my other works, to His Holiness 
Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathy 
Swamigal of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitham, who has been my Guru and 
God, always guiding me in his own inimitable manner, on the path of 
right thinking and right conduct. 



N. Ramesan 

Table of Contents 






Sri Appayya Dikshita—The Great Saivite 




Sources for History... 
















Education and Early Life 








Life at Vellore 




Tours of Sri Appayya Dil shita 




Sri Appayya Dikshita and Propagation 
of Saivism 




Legendary Anecdotes about Sri Appayya 
Dikshita and Sri Tatacharya... 




Other Anecdotes 




Sri Appayya Dikshita as an Advaitic 





The Works of Sri Appayya Dikshita 




Sri Appayya Dikshita as a Writer 




Some contemporaryjpoets of Sri Appayya 




End of Sri Appayya Dikshita ... 




The Descendants of Sri Appayya Dikshita... 


Appendices — 

Select Stotras of Sri Appayya Dikshita 


Appendices I to V 

Genealogical tree of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
with 23 tables 

Chapter 1 

A general introduction 

An civatara of Lord Siva : 

It is a common belief among Hindus that Lord Siva comes 
down as an avatara in the Kaliyuga to restore Dharma whenever it is 
threatened with extinction by alien forces. 

it is also a common belief among Hindus that Lord Siva came down 
to earth in the fomi of Bluigavatpada Sri Sankaracharya, in one such great 
avatara, only to establish in the world the itrofound truth of the advaitic 
doctrine, on the unshakable foundations of tiie authority of the vedas. 
Sri Sankara is said to be an amsa avatara of Lord Siva. Sri Nila- 
kantha Dikshita in his Champu states that Lord Siva himself came down 
as an incarnation in the form of Sri Appr.yya Dikshita who lived about 
450 years ago. 

“Just as Lord Narayana will come down as an avatar in the 
form of Kalki, so Lord Nilakantha came down as an incarnation in the 
form of Sri Appayya Dikshita, who shone as a great teacher for 
Saivadvaita otherwise known as Srikantha Vidya 

Sri Sankara and Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

There are many points of similarities and also differences between 
the lives of these two great teachers of the advaita doctrine viz., Sri 
Sankara and Sri Appayya Dikshita. The births of both were foretold 
iit the 16th chapter of the 9th amsa of Sivarahasya. Both were prodigies 
of knowledge from an young age. Both composed a lai'ge number of 
original works, commentaries, prakaranas and stotras. Both were born 
in the world with a mission to synthesise different systems of philosophy, 
at a time when different faiths were confusing the people. Finally, both 
left this world in the vicinity of two great temples, Sri Sankara in the 
presence of Goddess Kamakshi at Kanchipuram, and Sri Appayya 
Dikshita in the presence of Lord Siva at Chidambaram. In fact, Sri 
Appayya Dikshita is considered by many as a second avatara of Sankara. 

Though there are many points of similarities in the lives of these two 
■ great teachers, there are a number of points of difference also. 



Sri Sankara became a Sanyasi at the tender age of six, and left the world 
also at the young age of 32 years. Sri Appayya Dikshita was a householder 
and lived a long span of 73 years. Unlike Sankara, who travelled all 
over the country, Sri Appayya Dikshita confined his tours mainly to places 
adjacent to his village, Adayapalam. Sri Sankara reestablished the system 
of advaitic philosophy, and wrote standard commentaries on the Pras- 
thantrayas, viz., the Upanisitads, the Brahmasutras and the Bhagavad- 
gita, whereas Sri Appayya Dikshita mainly taught and spread Sankara’s 
advaita, and wrote summaries and commentaries on the Brahma sutras only. 

Sankara’s hymns and stotras are general, and do not indicate any 
particular location of the goddesses except, perhaps, Annapurna, Minakshi 
and Bhramaramba. They also give no data of his personal life, or of the 
times in which he lived. Sri Appayya Dikshita’s poems on the other 
hand, are mostly on the presiding deities of adjacent temples, and his 
works give considerable personal data as well as information on the times 
he lived in. Sri Sankara spent an important part of his life in Benaras, 
whereas, Sri Appayya Dikshita regretted to his last, his inability to visit 
that sacred place. 

Sri Sankara’s works comprised mainly of commentaries and stotras 
all of which deal only with different aspects of a single topic, namely, 
the advaitic philosophy. Sri Appayya Dikshita, on the other hand, has 
composed more than 104 works on different subjects, like original works 
on advaita, commentaries on different expositions of other systems of 
philosophy like Sivadvaita, Visistadvaita, dvaita etc., and also works on 
mimamsa, pujapaddhati, grammar, rhetoric etc. About twenty of 
his works are commentaries of his own works. This is an unique feature 
introduced by Sri Appayya Dikshita. The text is written in a condensed 
style, making it easy for committing it to memory, while the commentary 
by the same author enables the reader to grasp the exact idea of the author. 

~ There is also a great deal of similarity in the environmental, 
social, and religious customs, prevailing at the time when both Bhagavat- 
pada Sri Sankaracharya and Sri Appayya Dikshita came to earth. 
Lord Siva came down as Sri Sankara at Kaladi, at a time when people were 
getting confused everywhere, in the divergent claims of various religious 
leaders. On the one hand, there were creeds like Buddhism and Jainism 
without the goal of God-realisation. On the other hand, there were the 
very orthodox opinions, which concentrated only on the meticulous 
practices of vedic rites and rituals alone, independent of God. The 
nihilism of the Buddhists, and the indeterminism of the Jains on the one 
hand, and the strict formal religious practices of the Karmamimamsakas, 
independent of god-head on the other, threw the land into an unsettled 
condition, where metaphysics and religion were mingled in a confused 
medley. Kumarila and Mandanamisra denounced the value of Gnana- 
marga, and the necessity of sanyasa, and were exaggerating the importance 




of the scrupulous observance of vedic rites alone. It was, at such a time, 
that Sri Sankara appeared as an invigorating religious reformer, to lead 
the people to a better understanding of the great vedic truths, and to 
reestablish the eternal vedic dharma and the principles of the Upanishads 
on a foundation of strict logic and reasoning, that could stand the severest 
test from dialectical expei.s. 

Similarly, though in a different form, the 16th century, A.D. was 
an age of confusion when bigotry and vigorous proselytism were rampant. 
There were keen differences of opinions about the supreme God, and the 
conception of salvation. Curiously however, the warring sects were 
unified by an unquestioned allegiance to the sruti and the smriti. Sectarian 
disputes gave rise to a large growth of polemical literature. Persecution 
of one sect by another with the help of the ruling dynasties was quite 
common. Though the creeds and saints did not discriminate between 
Siva and Vishnu, and declared them as identical, the less evolved adherents 
of the various sects who were mostly cantankerous persons, mistook 
acrimony for devotion. Waves of conversions rose and fell. Aggressive 
vaishnavism backed by political favour showed signs of rapid expansion. 

In such an age, the need was felt for a rare scholar, with compre¬ 
hensive vision and imagination, whose mission in life would be the 
reconciliation of the various creeds, cults and, philosophies. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita filled this essential need. He was a peace-maker who pleaded 
for harmony, tolerance, mutual good-will and understanding, at a time, 
when people were quarrelling in a futile manner among themselves as to 
who was superior viz., Vishnu or Siva. When devotion to Lord Siva 
was on the decline, Sri Appayya Dikshita came on the scene, to restore 
Saivism to its pristine glory, and to spread it all over the country. He 
wrote a great commentary called Sivarka mani dipika which explains the 
Sivadvaita philosophy of Srikanthacharya, expounded in the Srikantha 
Bhashya. He also spread far and wide, the greatness of Lord Siva, and 
worship to him as expounded in great works like the Mahabharata etc. 

'" ’j’he preacher of Lord Siva's Worship: 

There are three great dravida acharyas who have expounded the 
advaitic philosophy. The earliest is an unknown commentator, who is 
known to us only by later quotations from his lost commentaries. He 
has written a Bhashya or commentary to the Chandogyopanishad Vivarana 
by Brahmanandi. The second great commentator was Bhagavadpada 
Sri Sankara hfmself Sri Appayya Dikshita was the third. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita could, from a different stand point, be said to form along 
with Srikanthacharya and Haradattacharya the venerable trio who 
expounded Saivism. 

He lived for over 72 years in the 16th century A.D., and was the 
guiding spirit of a great movement in which he organised the services 


of a large band of trained volunteers who could disseminate among 
the masses, the philosophy of Saivism and the worship of Lord Siva. 
There was need for a vigorous drive to do this. South India at that 
time was seized with a proselytising movement on behalf of Vaishnavism 
with royal patronage, when Ramaraya was regent of Sadasiva, the nominal 
ruler of the Vijayanagar empire. Ramaraya was completely under the 
influence of Sri Tatacharya, the Rajaguni. During his times, and during 
the times of the inheritors of the fragment of the empire after the 
battle of Tallikota in 1565 A.D., mass conversions took place engineered 
by the Rajaguru under state patronage. Sri Appayya Dikshita in his 
Nigrahashtaka says that the leader of the Vaishnavas had taken a 
resolute vow to stamp out Saivism from the land. The Prapannamritam, 
a work of one Anantacharya, which purports to record the history of 
Vaishnavism and the lives of its acharyas, refers to Sri App.ayya Dikshita, 
as living at Chidambaram, resplendent with fame, and unassailable by 
controversialists, sectarian or philosophical. It proceeds to state, that 
to refute his great works on Sivachaita and Advaita, Sri Tatacharya 
wrote a work called Panchamatabhanjanam, and Mahacharya 
wrote a work called Chandamarutam, and thus both of them defended 
the creed of Sri Ramanujacharya against his attacks. This Paiichamata- 
bhanjana Tatacharya lived for about 75 years from 1508 A.D. He was 
not alive in 1585 A.D., for, the ceremony of coronation of Venkatapati 
of the Aravidu dynasty of Vijayanagar kings in 1585 A.D.,was performed 
by his adopted son, Lakshmikuniara Tatacharya, who was at that time 
only fourteen years old. The elder Tatacharya wielded considerable 
influence in the Vijayanagar court, as Rajaguru during the reigns of 
Sadasiva (1542 A.D.-1567 A.D.), Tirumala (1567 A.D.-1574 A.D.), and 
Sri Ranga (1574 A.D.-1585 A.D.). Sri Appayya Dikshita lived from 
1520 A.D. to 1593 A.D. He was younger than Tatacharya by twelve years 
and also outlived him by about ten years. Their lives ran together during 
the major part of the 16th century A.D. During all the j'ears of Sri 
Tatacharya’s supremacy, Sri Appayya Dikshita is not known to have 
had anything to do with the Vijayanagar court. After 1585 A.D., when 
Venkatapati was re-establishing the glory of Vijayanagar, and the younger 
Tatacharya was the Rajaguru, Sri Dikshita was invited to the royal court 
and was held in great honour there. During the thirty years after 
the middle of the 16th century A.D., when the controversies raged high, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita enjoyed the patronage of Chinna Bomma Nayak 
of Vellore, who, soon after the battle of Tallikota, established himself 
as an independent monarch with considerably enhanced power and glory. 
Sri Appayya Dikshita lived the longest period of his life, under the 
patronage of Chinna Bomma, as his own literary references show. Sri 
Dikshita wrote not less than a dozen works on Saivism during this 
period, of which the Sivarka mani dipika is his magnum opus, comparable 
in bulk and importance only with his other great work, the Parimala. 
Both are commentaries interpreting the Brahmasutra of Vyasa. Parimala 



aligns itself to the advaitic interpretation, and the Sivarka mani dipika 
expounds the Sivadvaita philosophy of Srikanihacharya. On the 
completion of this monumental work, Sri Appayya Dikshita was bathed 
in gold by King Chinna Bomma. This significant event is referred to, 
in the works of some contempoi, ..y poets and also in the Adayapalam 
inscription dated 1582 A.D. From this inscription we learn that Chinna 
Bomma made endowments for the maintenanee of a college of 500 
scholars who studied Sivarka mani dipika under Sri Dikshita himself, 
thus equipping themselves for the Saivite propaganda work, which had 
been organised with a view to stemming the tide of Vaisimavile attacks 
and encroachments. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita threw himself heart and soul into this 
mission for several years, and often had to face grave personal danger, 
which he did with courage and faith. He preached, organised, and 
wrote ineessantly, enlisting the co-operation of several enlightened 
monarchs. He undertook frequent travels and challenged his adversaries 
to open disputation, as was the custom of those days. He brought to 
bear on his widespread activities, his resourceful personality, and 
created an atmosphere of spiritual tolerance and goodwill, in the place 
of the prevailing antipathies and narrow-mindedness. His Nigrahastaka 
one of his many works, is a thrilling piece of passionate poetry, charged 
with immense courage and faith, in the face of the extremely critical 
belligerent religious rivalry that he had to face. 

Sri Dikshita mastered the Vedas, the Agamas and the Puranas, 
and brought together authoritative statements which dealt with the 
supremacy of Lord Siva. He composed charming verses dealing with 
the glories of Lord Siva and his worship, and also wrote his own commen¬ 
taries on them. His Sikharanimala, Siva-tatva-vichara, Siva 
karnamrita, Siva-mahima-kalika-stuti, Sivadvaita-nirnaya, Ramayana- 
tatparya-sangraha, Bharata-tatparya-sangraha, Brahma-tarka-stava 
etc.,etc., all belong to this category of works. Sri Appayya Dikshita relied 
to a large extent on the puranic lore, and linked their teachings with the 
Upanishadic thought. He did all this without the expedient of strained 
subtleties of arguiiient, and in a spirit of calm and dispassionate search 
for truth. 

The Siva-rahasya refers to Sri Appayya Dikshita’s historic mission 
as the resuscitator of Saiva-sastra in the following words. 

cs -.s 

It is no wonder that Sri D-. shita was known as ‘Srikanta-mata- 



A Polymath: 

Writing about him, Dr.C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, himself a renowned 
scholar, and an outstanding descendant of Sri Appayya Dikshita states as 
follows, in his unfinished ‘History of my times’. 

He was a polymath of the type of Reger Bacon, the Admirable 
Crighton, Abelard and Leonardo da vinci, having mastered at a very 
early age, all the knowledge available at that time, in philosophy, rhetoric 
and literature. He produced a classic treatise Kuvalayananda on 
rhetoric, and though a smartha (advaita vedantin) by birth and faith, 
he, with rare catholicity commented with enthusiasm on one of the works 
produced by the vaishna apostle, Vedantadesika viz,, Yadavabhyudaya. 
He also wrote a book entitled Sivarka mani dipika discussing the Srikanta 
school of saivite philosophy. 

He wrote some lyrics and devotional poems and dramas, but his 
main reputation is that of an unrivalled exponent of Sankara’s advaita- 

Sri Appayya Dikshita embodied in himself a remarkable example 
of freedom from formal conventions. In his, Siddhanta-lesa the 
suggestion is daringly made that Mukti or liberation is—oneness with 
Isvara (Personal Godhead), until all mankind is liberated, when liberation 
becomes merger with the parabrahma. He thus approximated in this 
thoughts to the Bodhisatva ideal of the Buddhists. His early work 
Siddhanta-lesa-Sangraha already mentioned was encyclopaedic in 
character and described and commented on all the varieties and aspects 
of the Advaita doctrine. He acquired an all India reputation as a noted 
dialectician, who in most of his 104 reported works, engaged himself in the 
task of controverting the doctrines of sectaries not following the 
Advaita Aoctrlns. One of his celebrated work is Vidhirasayana attacking 
Rumania’s philosophy. At the same time, as has been pointed out by 
Dr. Radhakiishnan, he declared at a meeting of pandits inKanchipuram that 
he saw no distinction between Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu, though his own 
Ishtadevata was the chosen manifestation of Lord Siva. 

The walls of the temple of Kalakantheswara at Adayapalam 
contain inscriptions mentioning the name of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

nini-qraidi; I 



r?HM< qi^T 11 

The above verse ascribed to Sri Appay> ’ Dikshita indicates that 
during the last days of his life, he glorified the sacredness of Chidambaram, 
characterised his sons as scholarly and well-behaved, and declared that 
he was over seventy years of age, and that he had no further desire and 
mission, except to take refuge at the feet of Lord Maheswara. He passed 
away in Chidambaram.” 

Chapter II 


The sources for determining the life of Sri Appayya Dikshita as 
veil as to determine his date and period are very limited. 

(0 There is one work called Achandikshitendra Vamsavali 
vritten in Sanskrit by Viraraghava Kavi by about 1860 A.D. and whose 
hird edition was published in Udipi in 1923 A.D. 

(iV) There is another biography of Sri Appayya Dikshita written 
n Sanskrit called Sri Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya written by Sri Sivananda 
ifogi. The author of this work was known as Sesha Dikshitar, before he 
ook to Sanyasa. After taking to the holy orders, he betook himself 
o Kalahasti which is a great saivite kshetra and attained siddhi there 
n 1898 A.D. This book was published in 1920 by Sri Ganapati 
iastrigal of Karathur. This work gives a great deal of details regarding 
he life and time of Sri Appayya Dikshita and the many miracles that he 
lad performed in his long life. 

Sri Sivanandayogi who was known as Sesha Dikshita in his 
mrvasrama was born in 1825 A.D. He was a great devotee of Sri 
kppayya Dikshita, and has written a Vyakhyana to Sri Appayya Dikshita’s 
itmarpanastuti. This is a very elaborate work with quotations from the 
^ruti, Smriti and Agamas. Sri Sivanandayogi took a deal of interest 
md pains to compile the biography of Sri Appayya Dikshita. For this 
purpose, he travelled widely, consulted a number of manuscripts, and also 
i number of persons, in whom the oral traditions about Sri Appayya 
Dikshita were preserved. With all the material thus gathered, he wrote 
5ri Appayya Dikshita’s biography and corrected it a number of times, 
rhere are five manuscript copies of his work, of which two were available 
n the Adayar library at Madras. Out of the remaining three, one was 
wuilable with Sri Yagnanarayana Sastri, father of Sri Y. Mahalinga 
3astri, one was available with Kadayam Iswara Dikshita, and the 
ast with Karathozhuvu Ganapati Sastry. Out of these five manuscripts, 
Iiree were of one variety and the other two had different versions. 

In his work, Sri Sivanandayogi has stated in the following 
verse that before his times, there were four other biographie,s of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita and that his was the fifth one. 






'‘■ft-H ti'-H ii| '{tfSrr^"-S '5^To^T°^'| T=^5 '' 

It is not now known, whether the four previous biographies 
referred to above, had elaborate data regarding the life of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita, since they are no longer available. It is also not known, 
whether Sri Sivanandayogi had gone through them, or whether he had 
arrived at his own facts dependiiig upon the oral traditions that he must 
have gathered. 

{iii) Adding some more matters left out by Sri Sivanandayogi, 
Sri K.V. Subramanya Sastry, has also published another biography in 
Sanskrit called Sri Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya. The author himself 
belonged to the family of Sri Appayya Dikshita in the tenth generation. 
He had based his work upon Sivaiianda’s .Sri Dikshitendra Vijaya and has 
embellished it with further details gathered from many other traditional 
accounts, and further matters made known by research scholars etc. 
This book gives details of twelve reference books and periodicals, to a 
book in Telugu published in Tirupati, to palm leaf manuscripts in Oxford 
and elsewhere, and also to epigraphs in Adayapalam and Virinchipuram 
all of which were consulted by the author. 

(/r) Tn 1894 A.D. the late Bhatta Sri Narayana Sastri wrote a 
commentary to the Siddhantalesa Sangraha, of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 
This was published in Kumbhakonam. In the Sanskrit introduction to 
this work, he has given certain details about Sri Appayya Dikshita’s life 
which are not quite correct historically. 

(v) Traditionally, there is a story current that Sri Appayya 
Dikshita was contemporaneous with Jagannadha Panditaraya, the 
famous Andhra poet, who lived in the later half of the 17th century A.D., 
and some material about the life and time of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
are to be found from this also. 

(vt) Sri Appayya Dikshita himself was a most prolific writer and 
has left us a remarkable collection of writing, which reflect the catholicity 
of his outlook, power of his thought, and the greatness of his conception. 
There is not a single field of human knowledge be it, vedanta, mimamsa, 
vyakhya, a/ankarct etc., that he has not embellished with his note¬ 
worthy contributions. He was honoured by four kings, of whom the 
most patronage and fitvour was conferred on him by Chinna Bomma 
of Vellore. Sri Appayya Dikshita has praised his benefactors and kings 
and has given us valuable data about his grandfather, father, etc., 
in his own writings. His writings like Nigrahastaka etc. give us valuable 
light on the social and religious conditions of his time. 


(I'ii) Apart from the above, the works of his contemporaries 
and descendants give us useful information about the life of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita. The works of his illustrious descendant Sri Nilakanta 
Dikshita, like Gangadharashtaka etc. and the contemporary writings 
of poets of his own time, like Samara pungava kavi etc., shed a lot of 
light on his life. So do other works like the Sivarahasya etc. 

(i>;/7) We have also epigraphical evidence about his life and 
times, the most important of which is the Adayapalayem epigraph from 
which we get a glimpse of the Kanakabhishekam of the great teacher 
and how Chinna Bonima endowed a lot of money for the propagation 
of the great work Sivarka mani dipaka. There are also some sculptures 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita in some of the places that he visited. 

(/a) Most important of all was the work Sri Dikshitendra Vamsa- 
bharana which was written in Sanskrit by Sri Mannargudi Raju Sastrigal. 
Whatever information was available to him till a hundred years ago, 
were made full use of by him in writing his work. This is a full biography 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita. In this work, he has several times stated 
3n^;” i.e. “elders have said so”. In other words, 
the work was based upon traditional information that was coming 
from generation to generation. In the midst of the work certain very 
rare verses are found. The author has done extensive research to the 
extent possible to him. All the traditional accounts, legends, and verses, 
that were extant then about Sri Appayya Dikshita, had been collected 
by him. Moreover, he being a great scholar, had also collated together 
all the writings about Sri Appayya Dikshita by contemporaneous 
poets, as well as by poets that came later to him, and all this material 
thus collected has been edited by the author in this work. 

The work is written mainly in easily understandable prose, though 
in between, as is usual in all our prose works, certain verses are also found. 
At the end of the work is found a kavya called Sri Dikshita Navaratna- 
malika, and a commentary on it giving detailed historical information 
about the subject dealt with. As an appendix to it, a family genealogical 
tree of Sri Appayya Dikshita is also added. 

(a-) More than the above, are the current traditions and legends 
that have grown round the personality of the great master. There are 
many descendants of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s family and that of his 
brother and the traditions about him are reverently preserved in their 
family archives. 

Chapter HI 



Determining with any fair degree of accuracy, the date of any 
historical event or person in Indian history is a difficult enough task; 
and the difficulty becomes all the more great, when later tradition and 
misplaced devotion have confused different persons and events without 
any historical perspective. Determining the date of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
is subject to this general difficulty of Indian History, though he lived 
only roughly 450 years or so ago. 

Extant Dates: 

There are four dates which are generally ascribed to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita as follows, viz., 

(i) Monday 22nd September, 1553 A.D. (given by Sri Sivananda- 

(h) Friday 15th July, 1558 (given by Sri P.P.S. Sastry) 

(ill) 1520 A.D. (given by Sri Y. Mahalinga Sastry) 

(iv) 1587 A.D. (given by Sri P.C. Diwanji and others) 

The first three dates noted above are mentioned by the descendants 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s family while the last date is generally given 
by North Indians. 

Sivanandayogi’s date of 1553 A.D.: 

In his Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya, Sri Sivanandayogi describes 
the date of Sri Appayya Dikshitar in the following verse : 

'fi'-'il IH H sfji if)' '■il N d if [ iii 4 Psif 

The last sentence has an alternative reading as follows : 

ITnzT«TT5 FI ^tT3ffT iitw: 

The date indicated by this verse has been given in several corres¬ 
ponding eras by Sivananda Yogi himself viz.. Kali 4654; Saka 1475; 
Vikramasaka 1610; Kollam 729 etc. This correspond to the 18th Septem¬ 
ber, 1553 A.D. 



III another verse, Sri Sivanandayogi gives the horoscope of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita in the following verse : 

^ ^YfFTt 

5r# ?nT^t?r it^ ii 

VO O » "S 

The horoscope, if cast, with the above details will be as follows: 





Rasi Chakra 







The above date of 1553 A.D. given by Sri Sivanandayogi for the 
first time, has been accepted by later scholars and writers without further 
verification, and hence this legend of 1553 A. D. about the date of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita has grown up in later times also. Thus for example, 
the learned editors of the Arivilimangalam plates of Sriranga (vide 
Epigraphka Indica Vol. XII) quoted Sivanandayogi and concluded 
that Sri Appayya Dikshita lived from 1554 A. D. to 1626 A. D. The 
upper limit of 1626 A.D. has been arrived at, because there is irrefutable 
evidence that Sri Appayya Dikshitar lived for 72 years. 

Similarly Pandit Halasyanatha Sastri, writing in 1892 A.D; relied 
upon Sivanandayogi’s biography for the date 1552 A.D. which he has 
quoted in his preface to Kuvalayananda. 

In a learned introduction to the Gangavatarana published in 
1902, Sri T.S. Kuppuswami Sastri of Tanjore has relied upon a corro¬ 
borating evidence in the translation available in the Oriental Historical 
Manuscripts by Taylor, to the date of 1552 A.D. In Vol. II, pp. 149 of 
that work, an account is given of a Saiva Vishnava dispute at Madura 
in 1626 kJy.Akshaya year, in which two arbitrators, viz., Appa Dikshita 
for Saivites, and Ayya Dikshita Ayyan for Vaishnavas were appointed. 
Equating the above mentioned Appa Dikshita with Sri Appayya 
Dikshita, the dates 1553 A.D. to 1626 A.D. have been taken by him to 
be the life span of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 



A review of the date 1553 A.D. to 1625 A.D. : 

((■) Nashta Jataka : 

The above dates 1553 to 1625 A.D. do not appear to be correct 
in the light of the later epigraphical and other evidence that have come 
to our notice. 

Sri Y. Mahalinga Sastri in his Age and Life of Sri Appayya 
Dikshitar (J. O. R. 1929, pp. 140-160) has clearly proved that the 
horoscope given by Sri Sivanandayogi was based upon the Nashta Jataka 
calculation and is not a correct one, as has been proved by the editor 
of the astrological journal Jignasu. In Vol. 1 Part 11 of the Journal 
(March 1927) the editor incorporates a long footnote as a preliminary 
to his article on Srikantacharya, and describes in it the circumstances 
under which Sivananda made Ihe epoch-making discovery of the date 
and horoscope of Appayya Dikshita. The footnote is quoted in extenso 

“ The exact date of the birth of .Appayya Dikshita is thus given 
by Sesa Dikshita of my village, Kadayam, in the Tinnovcily district. 
He was a scion of the family of Dikshita and was known as Sivanandayali 
after he entered the fourth stage of life. He took great interest in un¬ 
earthing many works of Dikshita,.. .and had written commentaries on 
some of Dikshita’s works like the Almarpana Stiili. He collected the 
various accounts either oral or written, of traditions in regard to the life 
and history of Dikshita and put them in a work known as Dikshitacharita 
of which four different versions exist, all written by this same Sivanan- 
dayati at different times. The truth is that he recorded then and there 
the various and sometimes conflicting traditions current in his time and 
which he heard from various sources at diflerent periods in his sojourn 
throughout South India. From the accounts he heard of Dikshita’s 
birth-time, some doubts arose in his mind as to the year in which he was 
born ... In order to determine tlie exact time he solicited the assistance 
of a famous astrologer at the time familiarly known as Urkad Josyar 
who was a native of the village of Urkad... .just 13 miles south-east of 
Kadayam. Applying the principle of Nashta Jataka calcu\ation to the 
materials supplied by Sivanandayati, the famous astrologer was able to 

determine the exact date, time and year of Appayya Dikshita. That 

the Nashta Jataka of the astrologer... .reveals the peculiar r/n/jere/Z/a/r 
taste will be evident from noticing that an imaginary planet called 
‘ Mandi’... .finds a place in it .... Appayya lived for 72 years. 

Sivananda left this world at the age of 1898 A.D. after a 

typical sanyasi life for 18 years”. 

As Sri Y. Mahalinga Sastri states, it cannot be supposed for a 
moment that Sivananda had anything but the best of motives in incorpo¬ 
rating the Nasta Jataka in his work. His absolute faith in astrology should 



have led him to believe that he was really in possession of the genuine 
horoscope of Sri Appayya Dikshita. He was recording mere traditions 
and possibly believed in them with a pious faith. He should have felt 
that some information regarding the nativity of the subject was a sub¬ 
stantial embellishment to a biography. Lacking a genuine one he 
procured a substitute and utilised the same for the purpose 
of giving his work a pompous opening. There is no doubt that 
Sivananda sincerely believed that the great Subrahmanya Josyar 
of Urkad had put the original itself into his hands. The cyclic year was 
patent on the face of the horoscope, as ‘ Pramadicha for any one can 
ordinarily name the cyclic year of a horoscope from the positions of 
Jupiter and Saturn. It remained for Sivananda to give the horoscope 
a suitable date in the Kah and other eras. He very likely with the help 
of the Urkad Josyar himself calculated back computing by the number 
of generations he himself was removed from the Dikshita and easily 
discovered that a subtraction of 300 years from each era was necessary. 
It may be asked whether the Nastajataka method itself may not have 
been so successful as to have ensured historical accuracy also. The 
Nastajataka belongs to the category of arudams and its calculations are 
for the most part determined by the play of chance. The Nastajataka 
may be good enough for predictive purposes and may approximately 
hit off the operative Yogas of the original; as for instance, this supposed 
horoscope of the dikshita gives us some transcendental yogas for 
scholarship etc. But the Nastajataka can have no claim for astronomical 

Moreover the horoscope as cast above has been examined in detail 
by the late Diwan Bahadur D. Swamikannu Pillai who is a renowned 
astronomer and who has compiled the Indian Ephemeris. He has 
decided that the horoscope belongs to the 19th century A.D., and 
is certainly not belonging to the 16th century A.D. He has also held that 
the date as given in the horoscope corresponds to Monday 19th Sep¬ 
tember, 1853 A.D. which was a pramadicha year and that 300 years have 
been deducted from it. 

The following is the full text of Sri Swamikannu Pillai’s full 
scrutiny as published in page 140 of J.O.R. Volume III, Part II, April, 
1928. “The details quoted by you were, I am afraid, forged by the 
biographer. They correspond generally to Monday the 19th September, 
1853 A.D. which was a pramadicha, but Vikrama 1910, Saka 1775 and 
Kali 4954. The deduction of 300 years from each of these years is manifest 

.In 1553 A.D. bahula 1st and nakshatra 

Uttara-bhadrapada concurred on Thursday.22nd Kanya . 

The planetary positions on this day were very different from those in 
your horoscope ”. 

Hence the authenticity of the horoscope is clearly disproved. 



(k) The Taylor manuscript: 

With reference to the manuscript of Taylor, on whose corrobo¬ 
rative evidence some reliance is placed, it can be proved that it is mani¬ 
festly wrong. If we accept 18th September, 1553 A.D. as the birth date 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita, then by 19th September, 1625 A.D., he should 
have completed his 72nd year. As Sri Appayya Dikshita did not com¬ 
plete his 73rd year, his death should have occurred positively by 
September, 1626 A.D., at the latest. 

But the manuscript says that the excavation of the Teppakulam 
in Madura begun in the 10th Vaisaka in Akshaya year (/.e., by the end of 
May 1626 A.D.), and during the excavations an image of Ganesa was 
dug up and was enshrined in a temple built for the purpose. 

The manuscript then continues as follows : “ As they were 
placing the sculptured pillar of the Vasanta Mantapam and were about 
to fix the one which bore the representation of Ekapadamurti, they were 
opposed by the Vaishnavas. Hence a dispute arose between them and 
the Saivas which lasted for six months and was carried on in the presence 
of the sovereign. Two arbitrators were appointed, Appa Dikshitar 
on the part of the Saivas and Ayya Dikshitan Ayyan on the part of the 
Vaishnavas. These then consulted Sanskrit authorities and made the 
Sastras agree; after which the pillar of Ekapadamurti was fixed in its 
place. ” 

It is clear from the above that the dispute must have begun 
definitely after May 1626 and sinee it lasted for six months, it must have 
dragged on till November or December of that year. It has already 
been shown that Sri Appayya Dikshita must definitely have passed away 
before September, 1626 A.D. at the latest, if one assume his birth date as 
September, 1553 A.D., and hence the Appa Dikshita referred to here 
eould not have been Sri Appayya Dikshita at all. 

Moreover the manuscript is full of errors because four pages down, 
it refers to Ayya Dikshitar as being made responsible for the organisation 
and conduct of festivals in the Minakshi Sundara Temple according to 
the ordinances of the ancient books. We know for certain that the latter 
reference is to Sri Nilakantha Dikshita, the poet, who was the minister 
of Tirumal Naik. Sri Nilakantha has always been known as Ayya 
Dikshita and there can be no mistaking it. So in the former reference 
also, Ayya Dikshita should stand for Nilakantha Dikshita only. The suffix 
of Ayyan itself clearly shows him to have been a Smarta brahman. If this 
view is so far correct then we are faced with two improbabilities. Ayya 
Dikshita would never have taken the side of the vaishnavas and secondly 
it would be absurd to suppose that he was engaging in a controversy 
against his grand-uncle the great Appayya Dikshita. 



On the other hand, if we take the confusion to arise out of the 
scribe’s mistake in transposing the names, which is the most probable 
explanation, we will have little difficulty in the identification of perso¬ 
nalities. Then it would read, “ Ayya Dikshitar Ayyan for saivas and 
Appa Dikshitar for vaishnavas.” In that age there lived a celebrated 
Vaishnavaite scholar named Appa Dikshitar who was the grandfather of 
Venkatadhvari and the nephew of Tatacharya, the Guru of the 
Karnataka princes. 

Venkatadhvari lived in the middle and latter half of the 17th 
century, when the English had just come to Madras and the Maharattas 
were rising in power. He refers to his ancestry thus in his Visvaguna- 

Tif^: TT'JlfewfTV 

fqffirrqiRrqwl ir f^:i 


“ills' fdr^Ti'h: 


The scribe’s mistake in this case can be very naturally presumed 
as the words Appa and Ayya very easily look like each other in Tamil 
script especially when written in a running hand. Scholars are familiar 
with more serious and unaccountable mistakes in such manuscripts, and 
will therefore regard this one, pointed out here, with no feeling of sur¬ 
prise. As such the saivite arbitrator would have been Nilakantha 
Dikshita. In any case, it is clear that it could not have been Sri Appayya 
Dikshita. , 

{Hi) Sri Sivanandayogi's mistaken date: 

Sri K.G. Natesa Sastry who edited the English paper Jignasa 
had stated that Sri Sivanandayogi had corrected his biography of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita four times, and that all the four different versions 
areavailable in manuscript. He has also stated that since Sri Sivanandayogi 
could not arrive at the correct date of Sri Appayya Dikshita, he went to a 
famous astrologer Sri Subrahmanya Josya who was living at Oorkad 
which was thirteen miles distant from his own native place Kadayam, 
and that the horoscope of Sri Appayya Dikshita was prepared on the 
nasta jataka principle. 

Sri Sivanandayogi himself has stated in his Vyakhyana of Atmar- 
panastiiti , that he found the horoscope of Sri Appayya Dikshita with the 
help of astrologers. 



It is also significant to note that Sri Sivanandayogi himself had in 
another manuscript of his own work preserved in Adayar stated that the 
birth date of Sri Appayya Dikshita was Kali 4659 Ashadha Suddha 
Prathama. This corresponds to 1558 A.D. It is also mentioned here 
that in the horoscope Lagnadhipati Guru and Sani were in their svakshetra. 

Sri Sivanandayogi himself must have felt that the above date 
originally arrived by him, in his earlier manuscript was highly doubtful, 
and since he himself did not feel satisfied with it, he must have gone to a 
renowned astrologer in order to recast the horoscope on the principle of 
nasta jataka. That the manuscript containing 1558 A.D., must be the 
Yogi’s earliest version is further corroborated by the fact, that in the earlier 
manuscript of the biography, the verses are less and the story is also 
slightly dilTerent. It is only in the latest printed book, that more number 
of verses are found, and hence Sri Sivanandayogi must have discarded his 
own earlier date of 1558 A.D., and arrived at 1553 A.D. on the 
basis of nasta jataka principle. 

It has been shown clearly by the evidence of Diwan Bahadur 
Swamikannu Pillai as to how this date is untenable. We have there¬ 
fore, to arrive at the date of Sri Appayya Dikshita by other evidence. 

A Brief Political History of the times of Sri Appayya Dikshita to 
determine his age : 

The correct date of Appayya Dikshita can easily be established 
with reference to the historical, epigraphical and other evidence that have 
since come to light. A critical examination of his own writings also sheds 
a good deal of light on his date. In this connection, it is necessary to 
have a broad idea of the historical and political scene of the 16thcentury 
A.D., to determine correctly the date of Sri Appayya Dikshita, since 
Sri Appayya Dikshita’s entire life has got connections with the various 
kings and chieftains who patronised him, and Sri Appayya Dikshita has 
praised in no uncertain terms all the princes and others who gave him 
encouragement and support. It will be remembered that till 1206 A.D 
when Qutub-ud-din became King of Delhi, the whole country was under 
Hindu kings. In 1296 A.D. Alla-ud-din Khilji became the Sultan of 
Delhi. His commander Malik Kafur was sent on a mission of ruin and 
pillage to the South. This was the first time that South India had to face 
Muslim invasion. In 1312 A.D., Malik Kafur raided the great temples 
of Srirangam and Madura and took away a large quantity of gold, silver, 
jewellery etc. Between 1325 and 1351 A.D., five great representatives 
of Mohammad-bin-Tugluk were ruling in the Deccan, and in due course, 
when central authority declined, Bidar, Bahmani, Bijapur, Ahmednagar, 
and Golkonda kingdoms were established as independent entities. 
These kingdoms were situated between the rivers Narmada and 




To resist the Muslim domination further south, there were only two 
Hindu Kingdoms, viz., the Kakatiyas of Warangal and the newly founded 
Vijayanagar Empire. In 1323 A.D., Warangal also fell, and it was left to 
the Vijayanagar Empire alone to resist the downward intrusions of the 
Muslims. This they did valiantly and Vijayangar Empire reached its 
high watermark under Sri Krishna Devaraya who ruled from 1509 A.D., 
to 1529 A.D., and under Achutaraya who ruled from 1529 A.D. to 
1542 A.D. 

If we keep the above broad pattern of the history of the times in 
view, it will help us to fix the date of Sri Appayya Dikshita fairly easily. 

Royal Patron of Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

Sri Appayya Dikshita has given reference to a king Narasimha in 
his alankara works, to king Chinna Timma in his Vyakhyana to his 
Yadavabhyudaya, to king Chinna Bomma in his Sivarka mani dipika, 
Sivarchana Chandrika and Parimala; and to Venkatapati Raya in his 
Vidhi rasayana and Kuvalayananda. 

Since Sri Appayya Dikshita himself has mentioned these four 
kings, it is evident that the best part of his life must have been contempo¬ 
raneous with the time of these princes. 

(/) King Narasimha: 

The first royal patron of Sri Appayya Dikshita was king Narasimha. 
Sri Dikshita’s works on Alankara, and especially Kuvalayananda and 
Chitramimamsa contain about seven verses which are in praise of a king 
Narasimha. These verses are given below : 

sifq- wr 3Tfir i 

^i^sTRrr; HfTst 11 

These verses are generally mistaken to be those of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita. This is not correct. These are found in the Ekavali of 
Sri Vidhyadhara. This alankara work Ekavali was composed by 
Vidyadhara in the 13th century A.D. That poet mirst have had a 
patron king by name Narasimha. Both the poet and his patron 
belonged to Andhra Desa. 




If Sri Appayya Diksliita had at all the patronage of a king Nara- 
simha, we must look into the history of the 16th century A.D. for such a 
king. It is known to us that one Virasekhara Chola was ruling over 
Tanjore during the time of Sri Krishnadeva Raya. However, he was 
under the constant supervision of Viranarasimha the governor of 
Sri Krishnadeva Raya. Sri Viranarasimha was also called by the names 
Salva Naik and Chellappa. After Sri Krishnadeva Raya’s death, 
Viranarasimha rebelled and Achutaraya led an expedition against him 
between 1530 and 1535 A.D. He was possibly restored and continued 
to rule for 10 more years when he died. There is a school of thought 
that Chellappa or Viranarasimha was none other than the Salva king 
of Vijayanagar who was deposed by the founder of the Tuluva dynasty. 
If this view is correct, the leniency shown to him in restoring him to his 
kingdom can be understood. His rule must have come to an end by 
1549 A.D., when the new lineofthe Nayak kings of Tanjore was establi¬ 
shed in 1549 A.D. by Sevappa. 

If Sri Appayya Dikshita had the patronage of a king Narasimha 
it would have been none other than this king, since in the history of those 
times, it is not possible to locate any other king of that name in that 

Sri Sivananda in his Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya, has stated 
that in the first Vajapeya Yagna performed by Sri Dikshita, king Nara¬ 
simha performed some services etc., at the avabhrita snana time. If 
this is so, Sri Appayya Dikshita could not have performed the yaga 
earlier than at the age of 20 or 22 years at the earliest, and since the 
king Narasimha ceased to rule by 1542 A.D. Sri Appayya Dikshita must 
have been born by about 1520 A.D. only. 

(it) Chinna Timma Raja : 

The next patron of Sri Appayya Dikshita was king Chinna Timma 
Raja. Sri Appayya Dikshita mentions about Chinna Timma Raja in 
the following terms in his Vyakhyana to his Yadavabhyudaya : 

3rr?ft?TrTRffiTr thri^ ii 

^ o o 



aT^rTf'T 11 

3Tf^^ Tf^^FTf^Tcfn; 

•!T^^Tiwrn33p’Tr ^sPK^t ii 


jfrssT#^ %fk: ii 


sT^EofiT^ f?r?q#?:F^RR ^TtrIVt i i 

RifRJR 11 

TTftTRrFpftTRfR^R: II 

111 the above verses, Sri Appayya Dikshita describes the 
vamsavali of the famous royal line of the Karnata Kings called here as the 
“ great family ”, ^?fT TT^fd" : He mentions that in the lunar line 
of kings or the Chandra vamsa, which could trace its origin to Dharmaraja, 
a king by name Rama Raja was born. He was a mahisura, and his 
greatness was unsurpassed, aparamahima. He had a son by name 
Timma Raja like the gem from the ocean. Timma Raja had Gopidevi 
as his consort, and he was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Due to 
the grace of Sri Lord Venkatachalapathi, he had a son called China 
Timma Raja, who was then stated to be ruling the universe. 

The pedigree of the family as known to us from other sources and 
as confirmed by Sri Appayya Dikshita also wo'Jd be as follows : 




Sri Ranga Venkatapati Thimma 

I (m) 

I Gopi Devi 

I 1 I 

Ramaraya Tirumala Venkata 

(Regent of (founder of Devi 

Sadasiwa) Aravidu 

dynasty of 

I I 

Vitthala Chinna Thimma 



In the next few verses, Sri Appayya Dikshita mentioned that the 
king was famous for his many gifts, that he was a great poet himsef 
and a great rasika of other poets. Sri Appayya Dikshita goes on to 
mention that the king, in the midst of pandits, was once going through' 
the Mahakavya Yadavabhyudaya by Sri Vedantadesika and finding 
the style difficult and tough, made enquiries whether any commentaries 
had been written to it. On hearing from the pandits assembled that no 
such commentary had upto then been written, the king stated that a 
commentary was an absolute necessity, as otherwise the great thoughts 
enshrined in it would not be easily grasped by posterity. Seeing Sri 
Appayya Dikshita seated in the court, the king requested him to write a 
commentary. Sri Appayya Dikshita in the following verse states that by 
the orders of his king, he was writing the above commentary on the royal 

He says that he was writing the vyakhyana out of respect to the orders 
of the respected king. 

Chinna Timnia Raja was the son of the uncle of the regent Rama- 
raya, who was himself the son-in-law of Sri Krishna Devaraya, and who 
was the virtual king during the period of the reign of Sadasivaraya. 
Chinna Timma Raya was the representative of Ramaraya and for a 
period of nearly ten years, from 1542 A.D. to 1550 A.D., after Sadasiva- 
raya’s accession to the throne in 1542 A.D., he spent his time in establish¬ 
ing law and order in the south. He punished the disturbances in the 
Trivandrum area, whose chieftains failed to pay tribute to the Vijayanagar 
empire and his armies won victories over the Chera, the Chola and the 
Kerala areas and roamed victorious upto Ramesvaram. For sometime 
he was ruling with Trichinopoly as his capital. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita must have gone to his court somewhere round 
about 1550 A.D., and must have been aged not less than 30 years at that 
time, since he must have acquired enough reputation to be entrusted with 
the great task of writing the commentary on Yadavabhyudayam. Perhaps 
this commentary was his first work and perhaps written to commemorate 
the military success of Chinna Timma in the south. If so, this takes the 
date of birth of Appayya Dikshita to round about 1520 A.D. 

(Hi) Chinna Bomma: 

The third royal patron of Sri Appayya Dikshita was Chinna 
Bomma of Vellore. We hear of him in inscriptions dating from 1549 
to 1579 A.D. As the Adayapalam inscription referred to later, speaks of 
him in the past, he must have died by 1582 A.D. which was the date of 



that epigraph. Sri Appayya Dikshita lived longest in his court. In his 
Sivarka mani dipika and Sivarchaita chandrika, Sri Appayya Dikshita 
refers to Chinna Bomma by name. The latter work was written for 
the purpose of initiating Chinna Bomma in Sivapuja. On the completion 
of the former, Chinna Bomma performed a Kanakabhisheka to Sri 
Appayya Dikshita. The following verses make his connections with 
the king clear: 

—(By another poet( 

^ ^ N?r=rifHr«r?: I 

—^The Adayapalam epigraph of 1582 A.D. 

As the Adayapalam epigraph dated 1582 A.D., refers in the past 
tense to Chinna Bomma and we have epigraphs of him elsewhere 
only from 1549 to 1578 A.D., Sri Appayya Dikshita must have been 
associated with him during his reign of nearly 30 years. 

(iv) Venkatapatideva; 

The fourth royal patron of Sri Appayya Dikshita was Venkatapa¬ 
tideva Raya of Penukonda who came to the throne in 1585 A.D. In 
the Kuvalayananda, Sri Appayya Dikshita writes as follows in the con¬ 
cluding verse : 

In this he makes it very clear that he wrote the work on the orders of king 



In his Vidirasayana also, Sri Appayya Dikshita mentions king 
Venkatapati as follows : 



sjT^: ii 

The above verse indicates that Sri Appayya Dikshita when he wrote it was 
ripe in age and with a tendency to retire from the affairs of the world. He 
had neither good to aspire for, nor evil to avert, but still for the sake of 
helping others, he lingered on, not for any benefit to himself, but to help 
others. In fact Sri Appayya Dikshita introduced Sri Shattoji Dikshita 
his pupil, who eame from Banaras to study under him, to King Venkata¬ 
pati, and he wrote the Tatva Kaustubha at the instance of the king. 

As king Venkatapati came to the throne in 1585 A.D. his pat¬ 
ronage of Sri Appayya Diksliita must have fallen in the last few years 
of the great teacher. 

In this connection, the Vilapaka grant of Venkata I, Epigraphia 
Indica, Volume IV, No. 39, becomes relevant. That grant was given by 
Vira Venkatapati Maharaya at the request of prince Linga who was the 
renowned son of prince Bomma of Velum and who was the victorious 
grandson of Virappa Nayaka. 

Dr. E. Hultzsch states as follows : 

“ Linga’s father VeluriBomma, i.c., Bomma of Vekirii, is identical 
with Sinna Bommu Nayaka of Vclur, whose inscriptions arc 
dated in Saka Samvat 1471 and 1488, and with Chinna Bomma, 
the son of Chinna Vira, father of Lingama Nayaka and patron 
of Appayyadikshita. A comparison of verses 57-61 of the 
Vilapaka grant with the colophons of Appayyadikshita’s Sivaditya 
mani dipika shows that Linga or Lingama Nayaka inherited 
his birudas from his father Bomma. As we know now that 
Appayya Dikshita lived at the court of Sinna Bommu Nayaka 
of Velur, who was a subordinate of the Vijayanagara king 
Tirumala I, and that Bomma’s son, Linga, was a contemporary 
of Venkata I, in Saka Samvat 1523, it follows that the Venkatapati 
with whose support Appayyadikshita composed the Knvalaya- 
nanda must be Venkata I, of Vijayanagara. ” 

Thus for a period of 50 years, Sri Appayya Dikshita’s life can be 
clearly traced as running concurrent to the lives of Vira Narasimha, 
Chinna Timma, Chinna Bomma, and Venkatapati. The rest of his age 
of 72 years must have been spent in boyhood and learning. As 
he wrote two works in Venkatapati’s time, his life for at least 7 or 8 years 



must have been spent in his court. Also the Adayapalam epigraph of 
1582 A.D. makes it clear that Sri Appayya Dikshita had already written 
over 100 works. Considering all these and the dates of the kings the 
period of 1520 A.D. to 1592 A.D. would seem to be the most correct 
period of time during which the great teacher lived and wrote. 

Other proofs for His Date 1520-1592 A.D.: 

The above date of 1520 A.D. gathers support from another source. 
In Sivananda Yogi’s Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya the following verse 
occurs : 

qt 11 


This means that the king Sri Krishna Devaraya went to svarga as if 
he had gone in search of his guru (Sri Acharya Dikshita) who had attained 
svarga in Kali 4630 which corresponds to 1528 A.D. This verse given in 
Sri Sivananda Yogi’s Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya is very important. 
This shows that Sri Krishnadevaraya and his guru Sri Acharya Dikshitar 
must have both died in 1528 A.D. (expired). That 1529 A.D. is the last 
year of Sri Krishnadevaraya is also known to us from other historical 
evidence. From this it is clear that the grandfather of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita, Sri Acharya Dikshitar died in 1528 A.D. 

There is another sloka which says that Sri Appayya Dikshita was 
about 9 years old when his grandfather died ; 

WT ftwsnw II 

The word “ tata ” mentioned in this cannot be interpreted as father, but 
can only be interpreted as grandfather because Sri Appayya Dikshitar 
had never studied under anyone except his own father, and he could not 
have possibly lost his father at the tender age of 9 years. This is also 
proved by another verse of Sivananda, viz., 


In this it is stated that after Sri Krishnadevaraya the king Bomma 
regarded Sri Rangaraja as his guru and was ruling the earth as per 
his advice. In the next sloka Sivananda also mentions, that Sri Rangaraja 
being a viraktha had left off attending the court. This clearly proves 



tlxat Sri Appayya Dikshita’s father survived Sri Krishan devaraya, 
and hence the word ‘ tala ’ can only refer to his grandfather. 

It is thus clear that Sri Appayya Dikshita was 9 years old when 
his grandfather died and that his grandfather died in 1528-1529 A.D. 
This also takes his birth date to 1520 A.D. only. 

The great and renowned scholar, Mahamahopadhyaya Sri Mannar- 
gudi Raju Sastrigal has in his citatus-sloki vyakhya stated that Sri Appayya 
Dikshita lived for a period of 72 years and that he was born in the cyclic 
year ‘ Vikrama ' and died in the cyclic year ‘ Vijaya ’. Sri Raju Sastrigal 
has also stated that the above verse is also found in an old Dikshitendra 
Vijaya and that he has learnt it from his family traditions. The following 
is the verse : 

Vikrama in the 16th century A.D., occurred in 1520 A.D., and Vijaya 
in 1593 A.D. Hence 1520 A.D. to 1593 A.D., would be the correct 
dates of Appayya Dikshita as per this tradition. 

That he lived for 72 years is proved from many sources. The 
most important and conclusive evidence is the statement by Sri Nilakantha 
Dikshita, brother’s grandson of Sri Appayya Dikshita in his 
Siva Lilarnava, viz., 


Adayapalam Epigraph for His date 1520 A.D.: 

There is a further conclusive corroborating evidence of the above 
dates which has come only recently to notice. The temple of Kalakan- 
teswara at Adayapalam,the birth place and ancestral abode of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita contains an inscription on one of its walls. The verse 
portion is in grantha characters and the prose portion in botn grantha and 
Tamil. This is noted as No. 395 of 1911 and runs as follows : 


^ ’sfl' rqsK«(VHfVifdM«ivir't-K: 

Hird d i:«i IM H1arr i 



^ ?PFT®? (piDsb Qa^sbsoir jffeirp 

=M<?t'=t>''6!iqT 0L_ G snrsSsSiQeo 
«ff ^’iSWT’^ go ^ ^ir ^ f^ST?T 0<i@ uu^uiSlias 
fiiM('PHr«i<{l(M'ti«iiKo4ii’-f (Tpii usihrsmil Gsv^rrir f^vIsTli-^ 
jBTiumasif 6 SiuuSGsv> ^i^tTww Qfii usmrsmfl s^^^aQa/rsw® 
^0;ii0ui3iOT Gsv^iflGso r?r«(l'h^P»l<{t(H<Ti ajii goi0 ^i irit)i 
©®@ uis^uiSlss P=l^sil^^ 'TFT «<3Sif siuvBGst) 
(B/ds^ii) 3FTfrT umL^ui93=3^ srf%f%Tr^ u«rarsiraf7siSI#af 

^^T^TTTrfTpJT ^^FTWfrTFT Qp^scirm^ giiT0i SfW^sf usOTr«rafls3r 
3)*-M<0Pld 0i_ HiHMii 5nFT^ 

3^7 ?tf^T?n; TT^ I 

3TWf¥T Tr?T %t I 

^FFPlt?TT ^5T^R ?r^ %t I 




The first verse can be found in many of the works of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita and is undoubtedly his own. The first signatory is Sri Appayya 
Dikshita himself. The second signatory is evidently the Dikshita’s eldest 
son. The fourth is probably his brother’s second son and the author of 
Tif^tlfiT 'rfFT^TF'. The others must be his sons and grandsons. The last 
signatory is the scriptor. 

This epigraph records that the temple was constructed in 
1582 A.D., by Sri Appayya Dikshita and recounts that Appayya Dikshita 
was the son of thegreatguru Rangarajamakhi, that through his association, 
the fame of Chinna Bomma of Vellore spread far and wide, that he raised 
the Srikanta Bhasya from obscurity and re-established the Saivite cult, 
that he wrote the commentary Sivarka mani dipika and taught the same to 
500 learned men at Vellore having procured grant of gold and agraharam 
for them from Chinna Bomma, and that he was bathed in gold (Kanaka- 
bhishekam) by Chinna Bomma on the completion of the above commentary, 
that he raised Chinna Bomma to the dignity of a famous ruler of the earth 
and that he wrote over hundred memorable works including Nyaya- 
rakshamani and Parimala. 



- This inscription is signed by Sri Appayya Dikshitar himself with 
five other witnesses, viz., Arunagiri Dikshita, Viswajit Appayya Dikshita, 
Umamaheswara Dikshita, Yagneswara Dikshita and Marutaladi 

It is clear from this that the life work of Sri Appayya Dikshita had 
already been achieved in 1582 A.D., and that the greatest of his Saivite 
Advaita treatises had also been written and published already. By 1582 
A.D., he had already written hundred famous works, taught hundreds 
of disciples, revived the Saiva cult, reinforced Advaita, achieved fame and 
lent light and glory to the ruler who patronised him, and in fact had before 
1582 A.D., done all that we would now call the life’s greatest mission. 
This also lends full support to the date 1520 A.D., as the birth date of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, as a man would require about 20 years to acquire 
scholarship and another 40 years for him to be accepted as a great 

Literary evidence in support of the date 1520-1592 A.D. : 

There is also a literary piece of evidence which supports the date of 
1520 A.D. to 1592 A.D. to Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

The Prapannamritam is a work of one Anantacharya, purporting 
to record the history of Sri Vaishnavism and the lives of the Acharyas in 
South India. It says that Tatacharya of the family of Sri Saila Puma, 
son of Srinivasa guru, became the preceptor of Rama Raya, the regent 
of Sadasiva Raya, who ruled from 1542 to 1567 A.D., and that 
the latter took the guru to Chandragiri with a view to spend some time 
there in intimate religious seclusion. At that time one Mahacharya alias 
Doddacharya of Sholingar sought the assistance of Rama Raya for 
reinstating Govindaraja in Chitrakuta (Chidambaram), for the worship 
of Govindaraja in the temple of Chidambaram had been abolished since 
the time of the Chola King Kulottunga II (gr fqyos ). Rama Raya 
and Tatacharya fulfilled the request of Mahacharya after defeating the 
Saivas of Chidambaram. In this context the narrative proceeds to say : 

iWRrffTOTtW R^!?rT:ll 

^WCd^dl 11 

And further on 

d Id'll I 


Rfrrrtff WBihcrR i 



These verses convey to us the information that both Mahacarya 
and Tatacarya wrote refutations in order to defend the creed of Ramanuja 
from the attacks directed against it by Appayya Dikshita. It is, therefore 
clear, that in the days of Rama Raya, Appayya Dikshita had already 
written his controversial works and was a power to reckon with, as an 
apostle of Acivaitism. Rama Raya was in power since 1542 till his death 
in 1565 A.D. 

This Tatacharya the guru of Rama Raya was not alive in the 
eighties of the century, for the ceremony of coronation of Venkatapati 
in 1585 A.D., was performed by the guru's son Lakshmi Kumara Tata¬ 
charya who was a mere youth at that time. 

It is, therefore, clear that Appayya Dikshita was already a celebra¬ 
ted scholar, teacher, writer, and controversialist, in the middle of the 16th 
century A.D., when Rama Raya was in charge of the Vijayanagar Empire. 
The first among the verses quoted here from an unsympathetic record of a 
sectarian antagonist is especially noteworthy. The Dikshita was then 
living at Chidambaram having vanquished his foes and achieved unequalled 
fame. The Dikshita should have been at least middle-aged at the time 
of the establishment of Govinda Raja by Rama Raya. The record of 
Anantacharya gives no room for the implication that the Dikshita was 
one among those Saivas whose opposition was overcome before Govinda 
Raja’s reinstallation. 

The Madhva Acharya who defended his philosophy against the 
criticisms of the Dikshita, was Vijayindra Bhikshu, an incumbent of the 
pontifical seat of the Sumatindra mutt. Raghavendra Vijaya is a work 
which describes the lives of the Acaryas of the mutt. Regarding 
Vijayindra the writer says 

fer TRTRRT <.ld 11 

Then the narrative goes on to describe how the successor of Vijayindra 
was honoured by Venkatapati of Penukonda and Raghunatha of Tanjore. 
Vijayindra was not therefore, living at the beginning of the 17th 
century A.D. He lived in the times of Rama Raya. He was a protege 
of Sevappa of Tanjore also. In 1576 A.D., there was a grant to Vijayindra- 
tirtha obtained by Sevappa from Sri Ranga I. 

It is said that Vijayindra engaged in several religious controversies 
with Appayya Dikshita, and ardently defended his creed in a number of 
controversial writings. It is also said that he wrote 104 works. 
His Para tatva prakasa is said to be an answer to the Dikshita’s Siva tatva 
viveka. His Appayyakapola Capetika has indeed a very significant title. 
These facts clearly show that Vijayindra should have been an younger 
contemporary of Appayya Dikshita. 



. The fore-going testimonies make it clear that Appayya Dikshita, 
Tatacharya the elder, and Vijayindra Bhikshu were contemporaries 
of each other and of Rama Raya, the regent of the Tuluva Emperor, 
Sadasiva Raya (1542-1567). Hence this also supports the date 1520 A.D., 

Yalra Prabcmdham : 

There is further literary evidence about the improbability of 
1553 A.D., or 1558 A.D., as being the birth date of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
and the probability that he was born in 1520 A.D. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita’s disciple was Mosur Suryanarayana Dikshita. Suryanarayana 
Dikshita’s brother Samara Pungava Dikshita, who was hiniself a great 
poet, has, in his Champu called yatra prabhandha, given details of the learn¬ 
ing of the Saiva Sastras under Sri Appayya Dikshita. Samara Pungava 
Dikshita has also described the visit of Sri Appayya Dikshita in a palan¬ 
quin surrounded by his disciples during his Digvijayci just as he saw it 
with his own eyes in his young age. We know from other evidence that 
Suryanarayana Dikshita was born on 22nd September, 1551 A.D. Since 
his brother has given a graphic eye witness account of the tour of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita at his young age, which could have been possible 
only by about 1560 A.D., or 1565 A.D. It is clear that Sri Appayya 
Dikshita must have been at least 30 or 40 years old by then, and hence 
could obviously not have born in 1553 or 1558 A.D. 

Improbabilities of Sri Appayya Dikshita and Pandita Jagannatha Raya 
being contemporaneous : 

There is a tradition that Pandita Jagannatha and Sri Appayya 
Dikshita were contemporaries, and that the latter prevailed upon 
the former at his old age to wash off his sins by singing the praise of 
Goddess Ganga. This is sometimes quoted to prove a later date for 
Sri Appayya Dikshita as Pandita Jagannatha flourished in the middle and 
the latter half of the 17th century A.D. However as there is overwhelming 
evidence to the effect that Appayya Dikshita lived from 1520 to 1592 
A.D., this tradition about the contemporaneity of Pandita Jagannatha 
Raya and Sri Appayya Dikshita is not correct and this is independently 
proved by the following facts. 

There is evidence to show that Jagannatha should have been 
removed from Dikshita by at least a gap of three or four generations. 
Jagannatha was an Andhra whose father was Pcrubhatta. The latter 
studied Purva Mimamsa under Khandadeva. Khandadeva, in his 
Mimamsa works, and especially in his monumental work Kausthubha, 
refers to Sri Appayya Dikshita as a great authority in that sastra and 
styles Sri Appayya Dikshita as Mimamsaka Murdlumya. Khandadeva 
lived and wrote in Benares, and hence some time must have elapsed during 
his age for the fame of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s works to spread to North 



India and to acquire esteem there. From Appayya Dikshita to Khanda- 
deva, from Khandadeva to Perubhatta, and from Perubhatta to 
Jagannatha, at least three or four generations must have elapsed. 
Hence Pandita Jagannatha and Sri Appayya Dikshita could not have 
been contemporaries. 

In addition, vi'e also know that Jagannatha was a student of one 
Sesha Vireswara, son of Sesha Krishna, who lived in the latter half of the 
16th century A.D., under the patronage of Giridhari, son of Todarmal, 
minister of Akbar. Bhattoji Dikshita, who lived and wrote during the 
closing decades of the 16th century A.D., was first a disciple of this 
Sesha Krishna and later became a disciple of Appayya Dikshita. 
Tradition has it, that the verse of Appayya Dikshita in his work, Vidhi 
Rasciyana, where he says that he frequented the courts of kings not for 
himself, but for the benefit of others, refeis to the fact that the famous 
Bhattoji Dikshita was introduced to the court of Venkatapati by Sri 
Appayya Dikshita. He pays his respects to his guru Appayya Dikshita 
in his Tantra Siddhanta Dipika in these terms : 

From Sesha Krishna, contemporary of Dikshita to Sesha Vireswara, his 
son, and from the latter to Jagannatha, there must again have been a gap 
of nearly three generations. 

Jagannatha lived in the court of Shahjahan from 1628 to 1658 A.D., 
and outlived him. He spent his youth in the court of the Delhi Emperor. 
In his Akhyayika, he says that he got the title of Panditya Raja 
from Shahjahan. Dara, the first son of Shahjahan was also a patron of 
Jagannatha and the latter’s Jagadoddharana is in praise of Dara. After 
Shahjahan’s death, and with the coming to the throne of Aurangazeb 
Jagannatha’s career as a poet in the Mughal Emperor’s court came to 
an abrupt end, at about 1658 A.D., and his life took a penitent outlook 
and he became more and more philosophical, as is evident from his later 

There is the Adayapalam epigraph referred to elsewhere of 
1582 A.D., which clearly mentions that by that date, Sri Appayya 
Dikshita had always written more than 100 works. His remarks in the 
Vidhi Rasayana also prove that by that time, /.e.,by about 1585 to 1590 
A.D., he had reached the end of his career and was visiting the courts of 
kings only to help others and not himself. It is therefore out of question 
that Sri Appayya Dikshita who had practically lived his long and useful 
life by about 1580 to 1590 A.D., should have been a contemporary of 
Pandita Jagannatha Raya, who turned to be a penitent 70 or 80 years 
later, viz., in the middle of the 17th century A.D. 



Pandita Jagannatha Raya styled himself as a great critic of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. In his Rasa Gangadhra, he refers with scant 
politeness to Appayya Dikshita. This animosity .shown by him to 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, must have caught popular imagination, which 
wove a network of legends about both, as has been done in the case of 
several other poets like Kalidasa, Bhavabuti, Bharavi etc. There is an 
aesthetic value in the traditional legends of the meeting of Jagannatha 
and Dikshita on the banks of the Ganges. There is perhaps an implied 
tribute to Sri Appayya Dikshita in this, since legend has it, that, 
Jagannatha took his lessons of penitence from Sri Appayya Dikshita, 
and achieved his redemption by singing the praise of the Ganga in his 
Ganga Lahari. 

Be that as it may, the evidence shown above, will show clearly that 
Jagannatha and Appayya Dikshita could never have been contemporaries. 

Conclusion : 

We may therefore, definitely and positively conclude that 
Sri Appayya Dikshita was born in 1520 A.D. and that he had a life span 
of 72 years and that he attained his mukti in 1592 A.D., for the follow¬ 
ing reasons : 

(i) The date 1587 A.D., given by Sri P.C. Diwaniand others is 
obviously incorrect as it is seen from the Adayapalam 
epigraph of 1582 A.D., that he had already written over 100 
books by then. 

(/7) The date 1553 A.D., given by Sri Sivanandayogi is also not 
correct, as the horoscope given in his work is found to be 
inaccurate and cast on the nasta Jataka principle and 
has been held as spurious by the eminent ephemerist 
Divvan Bahadur L.D. Swami Kannu Pillai. 

(Hi) The evidence of the Taylor manuscript is also not correct, 
as, by thatdate, Sri Appayya Dikshita should have been dead. 
There seems also to be a scribal error in it as discussed 

(ir) The contemporaneity of Sri Appayya Dikshita and Jagan¬ 
natha Panditha cannot bear historical scrutiny as discussed 
above. On the other hand, Sri Appayya Dikshita, and 
Sri Tatacharaya the elder, and Vijayindra Bhikshu were 
contemporaries in the time of Rama Raja, regent of Sadasiva 
Raya (1542-67). 

(i>) Internal evidences from Sri Appayya Dikshita’s works 
themselves show that he was a contemporary of Chinna 
Timma who ruled from about 1542 A.D. to 1568 A.D., and of 



Chiiuia Bomma of Vellore who ruled from about 1548 A.D. 
to 1578 A.D. and that he was in his last years in the reign of 
Venkatapathiraya who came to the throne in 1585 A.D. 
Hence about 50 or 52 years of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s life 
must have been spent from about 1540 A.D. to 1590 A.D. 
or 1592 A.D. allowing for 5 or 7 years in Venkatapathi’s 
reign for his two books which he had written in that period. 
Adding, 20 years for his early boyhood etc., as he is definitely 
known to have lived upto 72 years from the evidence of his 
brother’s grandson Sri Nilkanta Dikshita,he must have lived 
from about 1520 A.D. to about 1592 A.D. only. 

(vi) The above gets support from Sivanandayogi’s verses them¬ 
selves where Sri Krishnadevaraya and his guru Sri Acharya 
Dikshita are said to have died in the same year viz., 1528 
A. D. and the other verse which says that Sri Appayya 
Dikshita was nine years old when his grandfather died. 

(vjV) The Adayapalam epigraph of 1582 A.D. clearly says that 
by that time, he had written over 100 works and that he had 
practically finished his life’s work then. This would not be the 
case if he were born in 1553 or 1558 A.D., as then we 
would have to assume that he lived for 40 years more 
without writing anything. Moreover his verse in Vidirasa- 
yana makes it clear that he was old by that time and that he 
was interested only in helping others. 

(v/V/) Most important of all, is the tradition in the family of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita as quoted by Mannargudi Sri Raju 
Sastrigal and who was earlier in time to Sivananda Yogi that 
Sri Appayya Dikshita was born in cyclic year Vikrama 
and died in cyclic year Vijaya. This, in the 16th century 
A.D. correspond to 1520 A.D. and 1592 A.D. 

For all the above reasons, we may conclude finally and 
conclusively that Sri Appayya Dikshita was born in 1520 A. D., and that 
he attained his mukti in 1592 A.D. 

Chapter IV 


Adayapalam and Dikshitar's Forefathers ; 

Sri Appayya Dikshitar was born in Adayapalam village which is 
near Arni in the North Arcot District of Madras State. It is an Agra- 
haram village. Sri Appayya Dikshitar’s ancestors had their original 
home on the banks of the Narmada river. They had performed the 
elaborate Jyotistoma and other sacrifices. They migrated before the 
middle of the 16th century A.D. to the North Arcot District of Madras 
on account of disturbed conditions in the North. The members of this 
group became conversant in due course with Tamil and '' elugu in addition 
to Sanskrit. Adayapalam, Morakkaniyanur, Chetpu* ind other villages 
round about, where these migrants stayed and lived ,or more than three 
hundred years, became by dint of their hard work, noted centres of 
learning and trade. These villages were originally part of the Pallava 
kingdom, and were ruled later, by the Chola and the Vijayanagar kings, 
who came after them. Finally they came under the sway of the Nawabs 
of the Carnatic owing allegiance to the Muslim power at Delhi. 

The forefathers of Sri Appayya Dikshita were great Sivabhaktbas. 
They were great scholars well-versed in all the sastras and smritis. Tlicy 
were the adherents of Sama vedci, and belonged to the Bharadwaja gotra. 

Worshippers of The Lord of Virinchlpuram : 

Traditionally, they were worshippers of Lord Margasahayesvara 
and Goddess Marakatavalli who are enshrined in the famous temple at 
Virinchlpuram on the banks of the river Palar. 

This Virinchipuram is a well-known sacred Kshetra situated at 
a distance of about eight miles from Vellore in the North Arcot District 
of Madras State. Tradition has it, that once Lord Brahma on account of 
a curse was born in this village with the name of Sivasarma as the son of 
the village priest or Pujari. Since his father died early, the son had to 
perform all the pujas in the temple. As the boy was young in years, his 
relations wanted to cheat him and hence his mother who was troubled 
that the boy may not be able to discharge his duties well, prayed to Lord 
Siva. Lord Siva blessed her and assured her that the son would be able 
to perform the pujas well. 

While the boy was being led to the temple, an old man muttering 
the name of the Lord “ Siva Siva, Siva, Sainhho, Mahadeva ” appeared 
before him, tookhimto the Brahma Tirtha nearby, gave him his ceremonial 




bath and imparted the Brahma upadesa to him. The Lord who was in 
the form of the old man disappeared, and the young boy came out clad 
in upavita etc. and marched towards the temple full of confidence. 
With this blessing from Lord Siva himself, the young boy went to the 
temple and was able to perform all the worship in the temple as ordained 
in the agamas, and as if, unto the manner born. However, he was not 
able to lift the swarna kalasa patra, or the golden vessel, containing the 
sacred water for the Abhisheka of the Lord. In order to overcome this 
difficulty. Lord Siva himself according to the virinchi mahatyam, bowed 
down his head and accepted his abhisheka. This view has also been 
expressed by Haradattacharya in his Gangadharasthaka. ” 

In the Virinchipura Mahatya, it is stated as follows : 


“ For him. Lord Siva, whose head was made cool by the moon 
and Ganga, bowed his head on account of his Great Grace. He bowed 
his crown to the young boy, which crown was adorned, as it were, by the 
splendour of the crowns of Brahma, Vishna and others with a view to 
grace his devotee.” 

In the Gaugadharashtaka it is stated : 

fjTsnrf^ i 

“ That Bhagawan Sri Gangadhara, who readily rallies to the succour 
of the needy, and who bowed his head in Virinchinagara to accept thepuja 
of a small boy, who was being rediculed by his relatives, on account of 
his inability to personally perform the Puja is my refuge. ” 

Hence this place is known as Virinchipuram, the word “ Virinchi ” 
standing for Lord Brahma. This place is also known as Bhaskarastala 
and as Bhuloka Kailasa. 

From the epigraphs of the temple, we learn that in 1239 A.D., the 
local subordinate of Kulothunga II, viz., Rajaraja Sambuvaraya finished 
the construction of the temple. The rajagopura of the temple was built 
by the famous Vijayanagar king Sri Krishnadevaraya. In 1253 A.D., 
Chinnabomma of Vellore otherwise known as Lingappa-nayakan repaired 
the temple. 




Tradition has it that when once Sri Appayya Dikshita had to go 
on a lonely road and several obstacles were created in his way by his 
sworn enemy Tatacharaya, he prayed to Lord Mahadeva of Virinchipura 
in a famous hymn called 'Marga ' •■'dhu stciva' and was relieved of all his 
troubles. This prayer is still in «gue and is popular with all persons 
undertaking hazardous tours. 

Ancestors of Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

Near this Virinchipura, in the ancient and renowned village of 
Adayapalam, Sri Appayya Dikshita was born. He came of a family of 
gifted scholars. According to one account, Sri Appayya Dikshita’s 
paternal grandfather was called as Acharya-Dikshita otherwise known 
as Acchan-Dikshita. His grandfather had two wives, the first belonging 
to an orthodox Saivite family, and the second, to an orthodox Vaishna- 
vaite family, known as Vaikuntacharya vamsa. It seem to be clear 
that till about three or four centuries ago, inter-marriages 1 .tween Saivas 
and Vaishnavas were quite common. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita’s father was Rangaraja, who like his own 
father, had performed many sacrifices. He was also an author of repute, 
and had produced several works on advaita philosophy. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita’s younger brother was also called Achan Dikshita and his grand¬ 
son was the famous scholar and poet Nilakantha Dikshita. 

Grandfather Sri Acharyadikshita: 

Sri Acharya Dikshita or Sri Acchan Dikshita, the grandfather 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita was a great soul. He was also called Sri Vaksh- 
sthala Acharyadikshita. There is a traditional story about the title 
‘ Vakshastala Acharya ’ conferred on this great scholar. It is stated 
that the renowned Vijayanagar emperor, Sri Krishna Devaraya went 
once with his queen, to olfer prayers at the temple of Sri Varadaraja- 
swamy in Kanchipuram. Sri Acharya Dikshitar, who, being an 
honoured court poet had accompanied the king, described the scene 
in a memorable verse, and stated that even Lord Varadaraja, on seeing 
the queen, who was standing before the Lord with golden lustre and 
splendour, just like Mahalakshmi, wanted to make sure, whether his 
own divine consort Lakshmi, was by his side or not, and therefore he 
bowed his head slightly to look at his Vakshastala, where the goddess 
traditionally is said to reside. It is stated that Sri Krishna Devaraya 
was so pleased at the composition of the verse, and at the delicate use of 
the word ‘ vakshastala ’ in the verse 



that on the spot, he conferred the title ‘ Vakshastala ’ as the biruda to 
ths Acharya. From that time onwards, he was known as ‘ Vakshastala 
Acharya There is another tradition that he was called as ‘ Vakshastala 
Acharya' on account of his great devotion to Vakshastala Mahaganapati. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita himself has described the greatness of his 
grandfather in his work ‘ Nyaya Raksha Marti ’ as follows. 

3l3,d H PsiW^ 

HT# 11 

“ My grandfather was well-known as Acharya Dikshita from the Setu to 
the Himalayas. His inner consciousness is naturally inclined to be 
immersed in the great ocean of joy, which flows from a realisation of 
the advaitic oneness. He is in the position of being a teacher to many 
people. In him I take refuge ”. 

That Sri Vakshasthala Acharya was patronised by Sri Krishna 
Devaraya, the great Vijayanagar emperor is also attested to by Sri 
Nilakantha Dikshitar, the grandson of Sri Appayya Dikshitar, in his 
favourite drama called Nalacharita, where he describes the Acharya as 
one before whom Krishna Devaraya bowed in devotion, and as one who 
had performed eight yagnas, constructed eight Siva temples, gave eight 
villages as danas, dug eight tanks, and who had eight sons, all of whom 
were well-versed in all the sastras, and whose fame had reached all the 
elgftt directions. The verse is as follows: 

^ ffivT 

^'vi-f^l*iul: 3psjf?r; 5fgf%T: apssfTr : 

^ : 3{ESTfTfeff II 

Grandmother Srimati Thotambi : 

There is a traditional story about the marriage of Sri Acharya 
Dikshita with a Vaishnavite lady. One Rangaraja, who was born in a 
vaishnava family, well-known as the Vaikuntacharya family, ran into 
serious debts and was in great difficulties. In order to rid himself of his 
poverty and indebtedness, he had made up his mind to marry his daughter 
ten or eleven years old, to an aged rich relative of his. During this time, 
Sri Acharya Dikshita who had gone out on a tour, and who was returning 
to his own village, happened to halt for sometime on the banks of a tank 
in the village, where the father of the girl was residing, to perform his 
evening Sandhya worship. At that time, the young girls of the village 



came near the tank, and as usual with them in the evenings, were playing 
about. That evening, they were astonished to see Sri Acharya Dikhsita 
who had come there in a big palanquin, and who was surrounded by 
his retinue and followers, and who was resplendent in his glory, being 
a fair young man, and being adorned with costly clothes and ornaments. 
They stared at him and at his entourage for sometime, and then dispersed 
to their houses at nightfall. Sri Dikshita, after finist'kig his evening 
Sandhya anushtana, was about to start for his village, iien he found 
a young girl by name Thotambi, who had kept herself back from her 
companions, and who was looking at him. On making enquires, she 
tearfully revealed the story of her intended marriage to an old man, 
to solve the indebtedness of her father, and took refuge with Sri Dikshita. 

Sri Dikshita who was moved to pity by the story, took her in the 
palanquin, promising to bring her tale to the notice of the king, and went 
and reported the matter to Sri Krishna Devaiaya. In the meantime, the 
father of the girl, who was furious, gathered a number of vaishnavu 
followers round him, and followed in the direction in which the pala- quin 
went. The guards of the palace took him to the king. The trad .ional 
account goes on to say that the king gave a lot of wealth to the parents 
of the girl, and also married her to Sri Acharya Dikshita himself, as per 
her own likes. 

Father Sri Rangaraja Dikshita : 

Sri Vakshasthala Acharya married the vaishnavite lady, Thotambi, 
as his second wife in his thirtieth year. He had four sons by his first 
wife and the fifth son, Sri Rangarajadhwari, was born to him as the 
first son from his second wife. The famous Appayya Dikshitar was the 
first son of this Sri Rangarajadhwari who was born to the vaishnavite 
wife of a Saivite Acharya. 

Sri Acharya Dikshita had performed the great yajnas, viz., the 
Sarvatomukha and the Mahavrata. These two yajnas cannot be per¬ 
formed by ordinary persons. They are very elaborate ones, and require a 
great deal of organisation and money to perform them in the prescribed 
manner. Hence Sri Acharya Dikshita who performed these two must 
have been a very rich man on whom kings and emperors must have 
showered their wealth. 

The name Rangaraja was that of his maternal grandfather. 
He is a symbol of the mixture of a vaishnava family with a Saivite one. 
Sri Appayya Dikshitar himself in his famous work “ Parimala ”, while 
ending the third pada thereof, refers to this mixture of vaishnava, with the 
saivite family in the following words : 



“ I, Appayya Dikshita, the son of a great man by name 
Sri Rangaraja, who was born in the ocean of the famous family of Vaikunta- 
charya, like a moon as it were, who was as if, he was the very teacher for 
the advaita vidya, whose fame had spread in all directions, and who had 
performed the Visvajit Yaga ”, etc., etc. 

Sri Rangaraja Dikshitar had performed the Visvajit Yagna. 
In the fifth sarga of the Raghuvamsa of Kalidas, it is stated that King 
Raghu had performed this sacrifice. It is an ancient rule that one who 
performs this yagna must give away all his wealth as a gift. He who 
performs it gets the title “ Sarvaveda ”. 

^ JIFT: 

Sri Acharya Dikshita was a rich person, honoured with wealth by 
mighty emperors. He had given many villages as gifts and had also 
performed a number of useful repair and other words, normally called 
“f tig T' j'd ”. Sri Rangaraja, his son, had given away all his houses, 
lands, wealth, ornaments, vessels, etc., etc., in the great yagna that he 
performed, and willingly took upon himself the wealth of poverty. He 
does not appear to have sought honour, fame, or wealth, in any court. 
Except as the son of a very colourful and masterful person Sri Acharya 
Dikshita, and the father of a world renowned scholar and writer, viz., 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, little else is known of Sri Rangaraja Dikshita. 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, while making obesiances to his father, discribes 
his greatness as follows : 

“ Him whom all learned persons proclaim as the very parabrahma, whose 
mere darshan will make one attain high proficiency in all the 
Sastras, who had become famous as “ Sarvaveda ”, who is like a king 
as it were among all vidvans, to that Sri Rangaraja, my father and 
guru, I offer my salutations ”. 

Sri Rangaraja Dikshita is said to have written two works on the 
Advaita Sastra by name, Advaitavidya and Vivarana Darpana. But full 
copies of these works have not upto now come to light or published., 

Mother of Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

We have no authoritative information about the mother of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. Neither has he written anything about her, but 
there is a tradition that his mother was the daughter of Virinchipuram 



Sambhu Dikshitar and that Sri Appayya Dikshita was born at Virinchi- 
puram at his mother’s house. 

Ancestry in Sri Dikshita Vamsabharana : 

At the beginning of the work Sri Dikshita Vamasabharana 
Mannargudi Sri Raju Sastrigal, who was himself an illustrious descendant 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s family, describes in the Frasa-*' the greatness 
of his predecessors in the following verse : ^ 

ssrf^rrciTS^^: 5r'»TWmT: II 

“ In this great family of good fame, who were traditionally wor¬ 
shippers of the feet of Lord Siva, who destroyed Madana, the god of Love, 
a number of great persons, whose minds were immersed i“. --"■•''h of 
Moksha, (paraina purushartha) who were great intellectuals on account 
of incessant study of Rik and Sama vedas, who follow in the path of the 
Sruti and Smriti, and who were very famous, being endowed with all 
good qualities, were born 

While describing Sri Acharya Dikshita and the two Yagnas, 
Sarvalomakha and Mahavrita performed by him, the author gives full 
details of them, with all the lakshanas and with all the tantric authorities 
for them. While describing the greatness of Sri Rangaraja Dikshita, 
the father of Sri Appayya Dikshita, he also gives eomplete and full details 
about the Viswajit Yagna performed by him. In the same manner he 
also describes in great detail the lakshana of the Sarvajit Yagna performed 
by Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

Since the above yagnas involved a lot of oragnisation, labour, and 
expenditure, they could be performed only by very powerful persons, 
patronised by kings etc. Henee Sri Appayya Dikshita in the forward 
to his work, while praising the greatness of his grandfather and father, 
and while explaining the reasons for their renown and fame, has 
mentioned the yagnas performed by them, as one of the reasons for their 
fame. The commentary of Sri Raju Dikshita, gives full details about the 
lakshanas, the prayogas, the ritviks, the samagris, the dakshina, the 
time, and all other details, regarding the performance of these yagnas. 

Chapter V 


Prasada of Lord Nataraja : 

Sri Rangaraja Dikshita, was leading a pure and austere life in his 
village. He did not have any progeny till he was forty years old. To 
overcome the ‘ piitradosha elderly persons and relatives prevailed upon 
him to go to the sacred kshetra of Chidambaram, and lead a life of penance 
and prayer there. Another version has it, that, Lord Margasahaya, 
who was the family deity of the Dikshita family advised him to go to 
Chidambaram and lead a pure life there. 

Accordingly Sri Rangaraja Dikshita, betook himself and his family 
to Chidambaram and was leading a life of austere tapasdmrya there for 
a period of six years. Everyday he had his sacred bath in the Sivaganga 
Thirtha, had Siva darshan everyday, did Sivapuja and nityakarma anushtana 
in his house, and was leading a life wholly immersed in devotion to 
Lord Siva. He was also giving a lot of gifts and doing poor feeding 
as ‘ arpana ’ or dedication to Lord Siva. One day in the sannidhi of 
Lord Nataraja, after six years, an asariri was heard to say that pleased 
with his tapascharya, the Lord had blessed him with two sons and one 
daughter. Sri Rangaraja was greatly elated at this divine grace and came 
to his house. Near his house, he found a venerable ‘ TiUai Dikshita ’ 
who gave him a golden cup full of fruit juice, and who told him, that if 
he gave it to his wife, his wishes would be fulfilled. Accordingly, 
Sri Rangaraja did so and in course of time, was blessed with a child, 
who became famous later as Sri Appayya Dikshita. Two years later another 
boy who was named Acharya Dikshita was born and two years later 
another girl. 

In the Dikshita vamsabharana, the author describes in the following 
verse the fact that Sri Rangaraja Dikshita lived in Chidambaram and was 
immersed in daily Sivapuja with lotuses and other flowers, and after 
performing daily the sacred bath praying the lord for the boon of a son. 

“Sri Rangaraja Dikshita went to Tillai first along with his wife, 
which was a very sacred kshetra, and was having everyday his bath in 



the Ganga (Sivaganga) three times, and was also performing Archami 
to Siva and the Goddess, with new bilva leaves, different varii j of 
flowers, like nilotpala and samyaka etc." 

Birth of Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

It is generally believed that Sri Appayya Dikshita was born only 
at Adayapalam village. There is however, some other schools of thought 
which hold that he was born at Virinchipuram and at Chidambaram. 
But the present consensus appear to be that he was born only at Adaya¬ 

In the Dikshita Vamsabharana, it is stated by means of ext ,.icts 
from the cigamas that Sri Appayya Dikshita is an Amsaratara of* the 
Lord himself. 

In the seventh amsa of Sivarahasya, mention is made of the births 
of Sri Bhagavatpada Sankaracharya, then of Hatadatta, and then thirdly 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita. The following lines are relevant. 


^ ^ 


It is stated here that Sri Appayya Dikshita will be born in a 
family of Saivite worshippers and that, he, endowed with great devotion 
to Lord Siva, will propagate the Sai^'a Sastra, which had become decadent 
very widely. 

In Sivarahasya, in another place, it is also stated as follows : 

^ ^RT IPT: 11 

In this verse it is stated that in Kali yuga a chandogya or one who 
is well-versed in the Vedas will conquer all the exponents of the other 
religions by the Vedantic truths contained in Saivite works and that 
ultimately he will become one with the Supreme. 

It is generally believed that Sri Appayya Dikshita had a touch of 
divinity in him, as otherwise it was not possible/or him to have mastered 
all the Sastras within a short age of twenty years. Moreover it would 
otherwise never have been possible for him to have lived without any pride, 
having achieved the pinnacles of fame on account of his memorable 
learning, and having written more than hundred standard works. 



The author of Dikshitci Vamsabhamna also proceeds to say that 
other scholars like ‘Gangesopadyaya' and ‘Gadadhara’ attained fame by 
writing only about Tarka. Authors like ‘Parthsaradhi misra' and 
'Khandadeva' wrote about the mimamsa, while people like Bhattoji 
were great Vaiyakarcmis. It was only Sri Appayya Dikshita who has 
written more than one stupendous and authoritative work, in dilTerent 
branches of learning, and has also composed three standard works in the 
alankara sastra. His great poetical gifts have been amply demonstrated 
in his ketvyas. Whether his works were kavyas or saslraic expositions, 
they were all well recognised as standard works all over the country 
and were respected by great pandits. Even to this day, they form the 
foundations, on which the knowledge in the respective faculties are 
being taught. 

References to the birth of Sri Appayya Dikshita in other works : 

The Sivarahusya, in the ninth arnsa of the eigth chapter says the 
following about the birth of Sri Appayya Dikshita along with others. 

■flfcibW-lr-'ftldTr 11 


^ 11 




31!ll=ld'Jddiqfq- 11 

•HHi<NKrHCd: II 

3T^sfq- WT ^ 


trf^eirf^ irfr 11 

^«1T II 

In the above verses, it is stated that when the twice born become 
confused in their thoughts, a great yogi will be born to help them. First 
Sankara, along with his four disciples will be born in kali, to whom the 
secrets of the Upanishads had been given by the Lord himself. He will 
then proceed to condemn the religions opposed to Vedic thought. Then, 
a great sage by name Haradatta will be born in order to condemn those 
religions which were against Saivite worship. Then, Dikshita will be 
born as an amsa avatara of the Lord himself, in a'family of vedic pandits 
dedicated to the worship of Siva. 

In the Gangavatarana of Sri Nilakanta Dikshita, brother's grandson 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita, the birth of Sri Appayya Dikshita is described 
as follows : 


TT^RTtcfffrfR ^ 1 

qcrrfe^ i 

^rtRT H'+t^filTTTfer: II 

qvR^nmriT i 

3frjiTTT Mf<:?1ld II 

5Mf+'J<5^S[TcfrtTrs£r fd^i’-a^Tld'^n-fi^ I 

^ %2rr#iTft^fw 11 

n'^qr tfijn FfRT: i 

HT^q'd' ff; q^rw 11 

3frftcioTt^4: 3I)Te^?f)T#: I 


if ^ ir?IF'!TR 3T^TTfqTmsfsRTrfH% I 
ftTEiTT ^ ^ fsFrfH^: 11 

^sfq TfTfRPtR^ fiT'qr: i 

f^Ftr^r i i 

BTTifrr^r^T#^; ^ I 

dr^TM -IF^rff^tinTwfttrr^dt 11 

“Bharadwaja was a sage well-known in the three worlds, and by his 
hospitality even Sri Rama was relieved of the tiredness of going to the 
forest. In his family, Sri Appayya Dikshita who is a worshipper of the 
feet of Srikanta was born like the moon in the ocean of milk. The 
three vidhis of the mimamsa (like Apurva, parisamkhya and iiiyama), were 
so well mastered by him, that they could find no other refuge in the 
worlds and came back to him like Jayanta who was pursued by the 
relentless arrows of Sri Rama. All the great truths of theagamoi pertaining 
to Lord Siva, which are difficult to understand wiye known to him from 
his very young age. He wrote the Sivarka mani Sipika which establishes 
the siddhanta of the Srikanta doctrine. He, being the avatara of Lord 
Siva, was once bathed by Ganga, and later was bathed by Gangeya (gold). 



He wrote more than one hundred works which were original and standard 
works and which were invaluable. Pandits were praising him by saying 
that they knew him, or had read under him, or were his disciples. His 
words were so authoritative that even Devas when they had any difference 
of opinion were compromised by his weighty utterances” etc. 

In the Vairagya sataka also, of the same author, the following 
occurs about Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

fwffr ^ II 

In the Siva rahasya, again it is stated that Sri Appayya Dikshita 
was born as if to please Lord Sambu or Siva who was very unhappy 
that the real truth of the Vedas and the Kalas were not known properly in 
the world. 

In the Nilakanta Vijaya Champa, Siva Lilaniava and Sivotkarsha- 
manjari of the same author, the following description occurs, wherein 
Sri Appayya Dikshita is stated to have been an avatara of Srikanta and 
a follower of Srikantavidya 

In the Champa 

?rF3P?rriT i 

so n 3 

In the Siva Lilaniava 

5fFtr mi: 5i=RJF?r# II 

In the Sivotkarsha manjari 

^ tT^ ^Trf: 

CN • ^ »d 

aiTWcffswTr ^iir: qfwft ¥Ri'4i'Biitxi4) 




Sri Rangarajayajva the father of Sri Appayya Dikshita performed 
the Jatakarmas of his child according to tlic injunctions laid down in the 
sastras and with great love called him ‘ appa Hence from his early age, 
he was known as Appa, Appayu, or Appayya with dift'erent spellings. 

It is also stated that his real name was Vinayaka Subrahmanya 
Sarma, as the son was born as a result of Lord Siva’s blessings, and that 
the father wanted that the name of Siva’s son should be fixed for him. 
As per this school of thought, it is stated that the child was known as 
Appa out of affection and love for him, from his parents and this name 
stuck to him later. 

However, all the Pandits have immortalised the name of Sri 
Appayya Dikshita in several of their works by weaving scholarly and 
interesting anecdotes about him. For example, it is stated that Appu 
means water or Ganga; Ayya means leader or son. Hence Appayya is 
stated to be leader of Ganga that is Lord Siva etc. 

It is traditionally stated that Sri Appayya Dikshita exhibited his 
great qualities of devotion etc., even during his childhood. It is stated 
that as a child when he was playing with his friends, he used to build 
temples with mud, offer sweetmeats to the Lord and do puja etc., to 
Him. He learnt at the feet of his father all aspects of higher learning. 

Birth of a Brother ami Sister to Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

At the end of two years, a second son was born to Sri Rangaraja. 
He was named as Acharya Dikshita following the name of his grandfather. 
This name became in course of time as ‘ Achan Dikshita ’. 

After some time a daughter was also born to the parents. She 
was named as “ Gnanambika ”. 

Sri Nilkanta Dikshita in his Gangavatarana kavya has the follow¬ 
ing to say of his family and about himself: 

3IT^Tf=5^'^rf?T?rF!T 5^ JTRIWriTd 11 

»m?FfIT II 

fe'hftsTfii ■RfiiM I 

^ 4m: Twt: SRIT^: II 

“ A son called Narayanadhwari, was born to Sri Acchan Dikshita, who 
was the younger brother of Sri Appayya Dikshita, and whose prabhava 



was equal to that of his brothers. He had five sons, who were illustrious, 
who were devoted to the worship of Mahesa from their very birth, and who 
were renowned poets and pandits. 1 am the second among them, by name 
Nilakanta, by the grace of Lord SanMu." 

The parents were living happily with their children in this 

Chapter VI 

Education under MuUandram Gunirainakavi: 

Sri Appayya Dikshita’s father tauglit him himself the alphabets, 
and later on appointed MuUandram Gururamakavi who was a rer .vned 
poet, for teaching him Kavya, Nalaka and Alankara. Being a born 
genius, Sri Appayya Dikshita was able to grasp very quickly whatever 
was taught to him, and in a short time became a complete master in 
whatever subject was taken up for study. His brother Achan Dikshita 
also was taught by the same pandit. 

In the Nalacharita of Sri Nilkanta Dikshita, the following 
description of the greatness of Achan Dikshita, brother of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita occurs : 

I g'STlf'T 

^rsTii^r 5riTT|Tl’ ^rriTr 

^if t? ti^t# i 

'FlftiraTT TTO'T 11 

The Sutradhara in the above drama, tries to describe the greatness of 
Sri Achan Dikshita, and says that there was no one in the assembly of the 
king, to equal him in his knowledge of the Sabdahrahma, in his grasp 
of the Vaiseshika doctrine, in his relentless pursuit of tarka, in his know¬ 
ledge of Srutisikha or Vedanta, in his knowledge of Sankhya, and in his 
mastery of all literature. 

Upanayana : 

Sri Rangarajadhwari was well pleased with the progress of the educa¬ 
tion of his two sons under Gururamakavi, and after a few years, withdrew 
his sons to his own house after duly honouring their teacher. 

His father then himself performed the Upanayana ceremdny- 
of his sons on a good and auspicious day, and initiated them in the 
teaching of the vedas. 

He also married off his daughter to a suitable bridegroom in the 
Vadhula gotra. 



Education under the father : 

After the upanayana was over, the boys continued their further 
education under their own father, who was himself a renowned poet. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita acquired all his mature knowledge from his 
own father, and there was no need for him to go to any other teacher. 
This was mentioned by Sri Appayya Dikshita himself in many places in 
his works. 

(/) In the Siddhanta lesa sangraha, Sri Appayya Dikshita has 
written as follows : 

^fFTlf^STT: I 

“ In order to have clarity of thought in my mind, whatever my father 
taught me about the advaita siddhanta and the details thereof, I have 
collated all of them and written them here. ” 

(/;■) Similarly, in the end of the first pada of the Parimala, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita writes as follows : 

31 % 

%=id!i^Tir; sm: 5iF2Rr:ii 

“ My father had completely mastered the doctrines of Kanada, Gautama, 
Buddha, Kapila and Patanjali. He had learnt their systems of philosophy 
or darsanas, as well as all the mimamsa sastras very well, and condemned 
the first four which are against advaita and accepted the last two, which 
are in favour of the advaitic doctrine. He therefore spent all his scholar¬ 
ship and thinking powers to establish the Suddhavaita doctrine and being 
immersed in it, was respected and worshipped by even great scholars. 
That father of mine who was also my teacher and who had performed the 
Visvajit yagna, I keep in my mind in deep prayer, and hereby do the 
vivarana of the first pada of the kalpataru which is full of the essense 
of nyaya sastra. ” 



(iii) In the Nyaya raksha mcmi also, Sri Appayya Dikshita writes 
as follows in praise of his father : 

3t ^rrsprio 

# g-##^^rJT7r^f!JTfs!Tr3r 


Here, he bows to his father Sri Rangarajamakhi as to a G«/'m, and alls 
him as the repositary of all knowledge and one who is so praised l y all 
who are themselves great pandits and sages. 

(n>) He also mentions his father elsewhere in the following verse: 

ft-Ji i 

Trfr»T^5TiT?!TTrJT II 

“ 1 bow before my guru, who had the biriida 'of Sarvaveda, who was 
illustrious like the Parijata tree, which was, as it were, surrounded by all 
the creepers of all the sastriis. " 

(v) At the end of the third pada of tht Parimala, Sri Appayya 
Dikshita states as follows ; 

Tr^sq-rqite fqfqqisrsfsnq: ii 

In this he says that his maternal grandfather’s family is a well-known and 
illustrious vaishnava family known as Fh/Zam/ac/tai'ya family and that he 
himself had performed the Sarvajit yagna. 

(v() In the Sivatatva viveka, he refers to him as his Guru though 
not by name or as his father ; 


It is thus clear that Sri Appayya Dikshita learnt, all tj^it he came 
to be very famous for later, at the feet of his own father, and that he 
had no other formal education with any one else. 

Demise of Sri Rangarajadhwari: 

Sri Rangaraja was leading a happy and peaceful life in the company 
of his sons. At this time king Chinna Bomma who was ruling over 




Vellore, invited Sri Rangaraja to his court, on hearing his great learning 
and wisdom. Sri Rangaraja also gladly accepted this invitation and 
reached Vellore with his family. His friendship with the king and the royal 
patronage was increasing day by day and Sri Rangaraja was doing many 
yagnas and was leading a contented family life. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita also was doing all the vratas as laid down 
in the sastras and was living with his father. After sometime Sri Ranga- 
rajadhvari who could see his end nearing, returned to his native place 
Adayapalam along with his family after taking leave of the king. He 
being a great vedantin, was aware of the impermanence of the body, and 
sensing that his end was drawing near, he called his sons near him and 
gave them sound advice. 

“ What we have learnt is only a microscopic part of the great ocean 
of learning. Hence it is extremely foolish on the part of any one to 
feel proud of his learning. Pride is the first enemy of all real learning. 
Hence be never proud of what little you have learnt. Also, all our 
faculties, our body, mind and intellect have been been created only to be 
of service to others. Hence these have to be kept pure always, and used 
solely to the worship of Lord Siva. The mind is to be used to meditate 
on Him, the body to do service to him, and the intellect to propagate his 
greatness among the world. Lord Siva is the Supreme Reality. 
Hence all sages who wear the Vihhuti and Rudraksha, have to be considered 
as Lord Siva himself. Also always try to please Lord Vishnu who is the 
yagnapati by doing yagas.” 

With these words of sagely advice Sri Rangaraja departed from this 
world. Sri Appayya Dikshita though he was aware of the impermanences 
of all that is born, was still not able to control his anguish, at the demise 
of one, who was not only his father, but also his teacher. He could 
console himself, in course of time, and finished all the ceremonies in 
memory of his father strictly as laid down in the sastras. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita having learnt the Vedas and Vedangas was 
leading an austere and disciplined life. He used to get up well before 
sunrise in the Brahma muhurta, finish his ablutions and bath, 
and perform Sivapuja after the Sandhya upasana. He used to spend 
considerable time in Japa, prayer and meditation. He never failed 
to perfrom the Brahmayagna before his food. After food he spent consi¬ 
derable time in discussions and study with other pandits and in learning 
mimamsa, tarka, vyakarana, vedanta etc. In the evening, he again did his 
Gayatri, Japa etc. after his snana, and then did Siva puja again. After 
food, he used to spend a considerable portion of time at night in inner 
meditation and deep philosophical thinking. While Sri Appayya Dikshita 
was leading a regulated life in this manner, the king Chinna Bomma was 
converted to vaishnavism by Srinivasaguru Tatacharya, who was born in 




the Srisaila puma vamsa, who was a follower of the pancharatra school 
of thought and who bore the title of ‘ Kotikavyabiruda.' 

Royal Patronage : 

Sri Appayya Dikshita like his father was the court poet of Chinna 
Bomma of Vellore. 

In the Dikshita Vamsabharan, the author has introduced three new 
interesting veises. Of these, the first is in praise of Sri Chinna Bomma . 
follows : This verse has not upto now been published.. 


srVBdMPd: TTSfirf^ II 

“The King Chinna Bomma is like Devendra in glory, like Mahavishnu 
in protecting the universe, like Bhojaraja in his patronage of poets etc. 
He has the beauty of lotus in his eyes. He also shines like Mahalakshmi 
in his great wealth, like Lord Brahma in his splendour, like Mandhata 
the great emperor of Swya vamsa in his glory, like Lord Parameswara 
in destroying the cities of his enemies, like Himavan in bravery, and 
like Adisesha in his intellectual faculties.” 

(The word Ambhojam can be split up to read as either 'am' and 
‘bhojam’ or can be read as a single word ‘ambhojam’. The letter ‘am’ 
means Vishnu. Similarly the word ‘mandhataram’ can be split up to 
read as ‘mam’ and 'dhataram' or can be read as ‘Mandhataram’. 
Similarly the word Uragendra can be split up as “u" which means Siva 
and ‘agendra’ or can be read as a single word “Uragendra".) 

In the meantime, the royal court at Vellore had lost much of its 
splendour on account of the demise of the court poet Sri Rangaraja- 
dhvari. The king invited Sri Appayya Dikshita though he was hardly 
in his teens to fill up this important post. Sri Appayya Dikshita also 
gladly accepted the invitation and shifted himself along with his brother 
to Vellore and was propagating in the royal court, the greatness of 
Lord Siva, the prosperity of his worshippers etc. Though he was of a 
very young age, still Sri Appayya Dikshita by the keenness of hisjiutellect 
and the eloquence of his words was shining unconquerable in the sastr- 
artha debates that were very common in those days. He was highly 
respected everywhere and his name and fame spread everywhere. All 
the kings of Kalahasti, Tanjore, Karvetinagar and Venkatagiri tried 
their best to avail themselves of his service as court poet. But 
Sri Appayya Dikshita was deeply attached to Chinna bomma of Vellore 
and was leadiiig a contented life in his court. ^ 


Meanwhile, Tatacharya, who was an aggressive propagator of 
Vaisfmavism, became jealous of the fame and the royal patronage of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, and was giving him any amount of trouble. A 
feud developed between both, and there are a good number of anecdotes 
about Sri Tatacharya’s attempts to do away with Sri Appayya Dikshita 
and how Sri Appayya Dikshita overcame all of them by the giace of 
Lord Siva. 

Chapter VII 


While Sri Appayya Dikshita was thus leading a life of austerity, 
penance and serious living at Vellore, he came of marriageable age and 
the question of finding a suitable-bride to him arose. Moreover, a devout 
follower of the injunctions of the sasi.ras, that he was, it became essential 
to him to enter the Grihastha aslirama, in order to carry out the rite' 
of Agnihotra, and the many yagas etc., that he had to perform. 

Ratnakheta Dikshita : 

At that time, a great worshipper of Devi, and a renowned pandit 
by name Ratnakheta Dikshita was living in a village called Surasamudra 
agrahara. His original name was Srinivasa Dikshita. He came to be 
called as Ratnakheta Dikshita, in honour of a renowned verse that he 
once composed. In his own drama called “ Bhavana Purushothama 
nataka ” he has given details of himself. His grandfather was Krishna 
Bhattaraka, who was famous as a writer who composed one work a day. 
His son was Bhavaswami Bhatta. His wife was called Lakshmi. Their 
son was Srinivasa Dikshita. Since he had defeated all pandits in debate 
in the royal court, all of them presented him with a ‘ ketaya ’ made of 
‘ ratna ’ and hence he came to be called ‘ Ratnaketa Dikshita He 
was strictly following the srauta and smartha injunctions. He was a 
great scholar in the shad-darsanas or six systems of philosophy. His 
younger brother Ardhanariswara Dikshita was called by thC’ biruda 
he. one whose fame was shining all the time 
and not necessarily during the day time. He used to conquer many 
vidvans well versed in many sastras and used later to honour them. 

He belonged to the Tooppil family. He was honoured and 
patronised by the Pandya king Chandrasekhara. His original name was 
also known as Srinivasadhwari. He was said to be a Satavadhani. 

Writing about him, his son Rajachudamani Dikshita in his 
Rukmini Parinaya Mahakavya says as follows : 

^Rrss5f7rTrr?rfr^ i 


SFzfttTT ilfd fd kT- 


’stnr^'TTTW: 11 

While describing the evening sandhya time, the poet in the above 
verse compared the mountains of the east and the west to two warriors 



who were firing at each other. The missiles shot by both which were 
shining were described as the stars or nakshatras in the firmament. To 
resist them, the eastern mountain and the western mountain were said 
to have taken the moon and the sun as two shields which were inlaid 
with gems or ratnas. Tradition has it, that the king, when he heard 
this clever description, gave him the title ‘ Ratnaketa Dikshita'. 

The reference to Sri Srinivasa Dikshita is also given in another 
verse as follows : 

Ml" 11 

The above verse means that in that agrahara, i.e. Surasamudra, 
Srinivasa Dikshita, an agnikotri, and one who had mastered the Shad 
darsanas undone who was also known by the n&me Satavadhani v/as livmg. 

He himself has mentioned in the vedantic work ‘ Bhavana Puru- 
shothama ’ that the chieftain Surapa nayaka gave him succour and patro¬ 
nage. We learn from other evidences that Surapa nayaka’s son Bodha 
Nayaka ruled at Gingi fort from 1550 to 1575 A.D. Sri Appayya Dikshita 
calls him as Maninagapumdhiswara. His mother’s name was Vengalamba. 
The three agraharas donated by him were given, one in his own name, 
and the other two in the names of his parents, and were called 
Vengalambapuram, Bodhasamudram and Surasamudram. 

Sri Srinivasa Dikshita was living in Surapasamudra and had the 
honour of having an elephant accompanying him, which honour was 
conferred on him by the king. He has composed more than sixty 
Mahakavyas. His son Rajachudamani Dikshita started writing dramas 
at the young age of seven. Many of his kavya natalankara granthas 
are very famous. 

Visit of Kasi Pandits to Ratnakheta Dikshita: 

Ratnaketa Dikshita’s wife was also a great poet. There is a 
tradition that some pandits once came from the north with a view to 
invite Sri Dikshita to debate. They reached his house in the early morn¬ 
ing and found his wife sprinkling the house with water in the process of 
cleaning it. On making enquiries of her, she sensed their intentions 
and replied in the following verse suited to the occasion : 



The meaning is as follows : 

When Ratnaketa Dikshita who is pre-eminent among the pandits enters 
the debate hall, his enemies are easily conquered; even Brihaspati 
begins to prattle; Adisesha slips . vay somewhere; Subrahmanya hangs 
down his head and Brahma is discomfited. 

Apart from the meaning, the verse is set in a metre that suits the 
occasion, viz., cleaning the house, with water. 

The pandits who heard this verse, composed on the spur of the 
moment, were stunned at her literary ability and gave up all attempts to 
engage Sri Dikshita in debate and went away. 


Turning Amavasya to Paurnima : 

There is another traditional story associated with Sri Ratnaketa 
Dikshita. Once when the king Chandrasekhara forgot the tithi of the 
day and asked the Dikshita, who was present in the court what it was, 
Sri Dikshita, without any thought said that it was a purnima day. On 
hearing the derisive laughter of the other courtiers present, and 
remembering that it was an amavasya, the king was perplexed and asked 
Sri Dikshita how it came about that he was wrong. Sri Dikshita told 
the king that his words would never become wrong. He sat in deep 
meditation and prayed to the Devi. Goddess Kamakshi appeared 
before him, and gave her tatanka, or ear ornament to him and blessed 
him and went away. The ear ornament began to ascend the heavens 
and shone like a resplendant moon and thus his words came true by 
divine grace. From that day onwards, he was more honoured by the 
king. This is described in Sivanaridayogi’s work in the following verse : 

By the injunctions of the Goddess whom he worshipped, he gave his 
daughter Mangala Nayaki as the wife of Sri Appayya Dikshita and was 
thus the father-in-law of the great Dikshita. 



Grace of Goddess Kamakshi : 

Traditional accounts about the marriage of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
with the daughter of the renowned Ratnaketa Dikshita state that once 
king Chandrasekhara who was the patron of Ratnaketa Dikshita, having 
heard from the mouths of other pandits, about the great learning of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita asked him whether he had heard about Sri Appayya 
Dikshita. Sri Ratanketa Dikshita replied that Sri Appayya Dikshita 
was a born genius, who had mastered all the branches of 
learning even from his childhood and infancy, and that he was only 
waiting for an opportunity of conducting a debate with him. With the 
permission of the king he went to Kanchipuram and prayed to Goddess 
Kamakshi for her blessings in order that he might win in the debate with 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. He prayed to the goddess in the following verse: 

?ftsw ’RTR I 

'jfl'lild civil =6: 

drttodlsfq- fsTsPT f T 5rf ftfd’ 11 

The goddess thereupon replied to him that Sri Appayya Dikshita 
was not an ordinary mortal, but the very avatar of Lord Siva, and that 
she had blessed Sri Ratnaketa Dikshita in the past, that no human being 
would be able to conquer him in debate, but that Sri Appayya Dikshita 
being an avatar of Lord Siva, could not be won by him. The Goddess 
also told him that he should marry his daughter to Sri Appayya Dikshita 
and by virtue of his relationship as father-in-law, he would also 
become the Guru of Sri Appayya Dikshita and hence niight in some 
manner construe himself to be his superior. This traditional blessing of 
Goddess Kamakshi is contained in the following two verses : 

5^^ I 


!4=i41fd<=ii<: ii 

wrnr feirs^ir i 

ITT T m 'TfvTSJrRr 11 

t-cTis^sfr TTTT I 



Cs •«» O 

At the same time. Lord Ekamranatha, the presiding deity of 
Kanch appeared in a dream to Sri Appayya Dikshita, and told him that 



he should go to Kanchipuram and that Sri Ratnaketa Dikshita would 
offer him his daughter and that he should take her as his wife. 
SriAppayya Dikshita felt very glad aboutthisdivinecommand,.and betook 
himself to Kanchipuram and was awaiting events. 

Sri Ratnaketa Dikshita on an auspicious day brought his daughter 
to him as per the behest of C 'idess Kamakshi and offered her in marriage 
to him. She was accepted by Sii Appayya Dikshita. Sri Ratnaketa 
Dikshita arranged the ceremony on an auspicious day, and in the presence 
of his relatives, friends etc., married his daughter Mangalanayaki by 
name, in a formal manner to Sri Appayya Dikshita. The newly married 
couple were also honoured by. the king. 

Chapter VIll 

Arrival of Pandits from Kasi: 

Sri AppayyaDikshita then left Kanchipuram and reached Adaya- 
palam, his native place. He was leading his life there following strictly 
the anusthanas prescribed in the srutis, and was spending his days in 
teaching the many .students who had gathered round him from all parts 
of the country, in composing many standard works about the greatness 
of Lord Siva, and in doing Siva puja every day. 

There is traditional account about how a number of 
pandits well-versed in all branches of learning and who were travelling 
to Sethu from Kasi came to Adayapalam, on hearing of the greatness of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita’s scholarship, and asked him in what particular 
sastras he had specialised. Sri Appayya Dikshita replied to them in 
the following verse : 

The above verse means that he had read neither the vedas, nor 
the sastras but that his only qualification was that he was full of devotion 
to Lord Siva. The verse has been composed making use of very 
abstruse rules of grammar, that the pandits were able to easily understand 
that they were dealing not with an ordinary teacher, but with an extra¬ 
ordinary genius, and after paying their respects to him went on their 
own way. 

Jyothistoma Yagna : 

Sri Appayya Dikshita was performing the traditional pancha- 
yagnas for the devas, the pithrs, the mahushyas, the bhutasandthe 
brahmanas. He was also following the Pakayagna samasthas like the 
sraddha, sravanya, agrahayani etc., and also the seven havis yagna samstha. 
He was very anxious to perform jyotisthoma sacrifice. The ritviks who 
were living in Adayapalam were also srotriya brahmins who were equal 
to Vasista in their knowledge and achara. They were fully qualified 
to perform all the yagnas according to the injunctions laid down in the 

Sri Appayya Dikshita selected seventeen ritviks and prayed to 
the Yagneswara of the somayaga and finished the jyotistoma yagna. He 
pleased the gods by offerings of cow’s milk and other devas by the offering 



of jaggery, curds, honey etc., Many ritviks from all over the country had 
attended this in order to get the grace of the Yagneswara. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita completed the Yagna with the avabritasnana and pleased Lord 

He also pleased Lord Siva who vvas the yagnarupi by agnyadheya, 
agnihotra, dasapurnamasya, chaturmasya. agraycma, nirudha pasu bandha, 
southramani. These were known as the seven havis samasthas. 

Vajapeya Yagna : 

While he was living like this in his nati'.'e place, some citizens of 
Kanchipuram came to him, and felt his Brahmatejas which was glowing 
as a fourth agni, along with the other three traditional fires, viz., dakslii- 
nagni, garhaspalya and avahaniya, and prayed to him that he must come 
to Kanchipuram and perform the vajapeya yagna at that place in the 
presence of Lord Ekamranatha for the benefit of the whole world. On 
hearing their request made to him, in the agnihotrasala, Sri Appayya 
Dikshita thought that even this must have been only due to the divine 
dispensation of Lord Siva and accepted the invitation. He also asked 
them to invite all the pandits, kings etc., and instructed them on the 
various samidhas that they had to gather for this important event. 

The performer of a vajapeya yagna must be an exceptionally pure 
one in both body and mind. The greatness of this yagna is found 
in the srutis and especially in ashtaka I prasna 3 and anuvaka3 and 4. 
Though the sutras of apasthambha and bodhayana do not mention the 
vajapeya yagna, still in the chandopa .vamaveda sroutha sutra o[ the 
Brahmanas full details of this yagna are given. A huge yagna sala was 
erected and specific places were allotted to the pandits, the performers 
of japa, the ritviks, the performers of the parayana, the sadasyas and 
the other brahmins, the kings and others who had come to see the yagna. 

Holding the Silken Umbrella by the King : 

There was traditionally a practice, that a king had to hold the white 
umbrella as a mark of honour and distinction over one who performs 
the vajapeya yagna. The yagna being an elaborate one had to be 
performed with a great deal of expense and organisation which was 
possible only to those enjoying munificent royal patronage. Many 
kings from all over the country who had helped in this yagna were present 
in the yagna sala. 

At that time, Chinna Bomma Nayaka, the patron of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita, who was under the influence of Sri Tatacharya ha-l not come to 
the yagna. Among the kings who were present was the king of Tanjore 
Narasimha Bhupala Varma. He had written a letter to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita anticipating his arrival and awaiting his permission to enter 



the yagna sala. On being permitted by Sri Appayya Dikshita he came 
to Kanchipuram along with all his retinue and after the avabrita was 
over, the king held the white umbrella over Sri Appayya Dikshita in the 
traditional manner. After performing the yagna in the proper manner, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita returned back to his native place, Adayapalam. 

Request of Sri Chinna Bomma : 

Chinna Bomma of Vellore who heard about the yagna felt sorry 
that he could not attend it. as he was then under the influence of 
Sri Tatacharya. He therefore felt that he must honour Sri Appayya Dikshita 
somehow or other. He sent a golden palanquin to Sri Appayya Dikshita 
to come and honour his court. He also sent a message that his court 
was adorned both by Acharya Dikshita and Rangaraja, Sri Appayya 
Dikshita’s grandfather and father, and that Sri Appayya Dikshita should 
also give him the benefit of his presence by attending his court. 
Sri Appayya Dikshita wanted to test the sincerity of the king and after two 
or three invitations, suddenly came near Vellore and took his residence 
in a nearby village. Sri Chinna Bomma Nayaka thereupon betook 
himself to Sri Appayya-Dikshita with all the retinue, showed him all 
respect and honour and brought him to his court. 

Life at Vellore : 

From that time onwards, Sri Appayya Dikshita was living at 
Vellore as the court poet of Chinna Bomma Nayaka. Sri Tatacharya, 
however, could not reconcile himself to the growing influence of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita in the court, and was trying his level best in order to 
put obstacles in his way. The people of Vellore also were fully engrossed 
in the worship of Lord Siva, and under the guidance of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita and the sympathetic government of Sri Chinna Bomma, were 
living a religious and contended life. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita led the major portion of his life in the court 
of Sri Chinna Bomma. It was from this place that he wrote many of his 
most famous works. It was also at this court that kanakahhisheka 
was performed to him after completing his Sivarka mani dipika which 
was his magnum opus. 

Chapter IX 


Sri Appayya Dikshita spent most of his time in Adayapalam and 
Vellore and attained final emancipation at Chidambaram. His tours 
were mostly confined to tlie holy places round about his place of residence. 

There are some traditional accounts about h; 'irthayatras and 
they are as follows:—From Vellore on the banks of the river Palar called 
Kshira tarangini he started on his tours. He performed the sankalpa 
after reciting the Aghamarshana japa and then set out on his pilgrimage. 

Chidambaram : 

He had his bath in the South Pennar called Pinakini, and came 
to Pundarikapura otherwise known as Tillai or Chidambaram where 
Lord Siva resides in his form of Chilsahhanayaka doing his cosmic dance. 
It is at that sacred place that both Palanjali, and Vyughrapuda went for 
darshan of the Lord. It was also there only, that both Govindaraja and 
Siva are worshipped in the same place in the same temple. He performed 
his ceremonial bath in Sivaganga which flows nearby and had darshan of 
both Chitsabhanayaka and Thillaigoviiularaja and prayed to both as 
he had no distinction between Hari and Hura. It is stated that 
Sri Appayya Dikshita performed the formal panchaksharijapa before having 
darshan of Lord Nataraja. There is a verse which traditionally describes 
this visit of Sri Appayya Dikshita to Chidambaram and his darshan 
of Lord Nataraja there. 

fEtfcRS "HTcTcR 

The above verse states that Sri Appayya Dikshita had the darshan 
of Lord Nataraja who was called Aparnavita or Parvatipati, and who 
gave the pasupatha to Arjuna, and who was dancing at Chidambaram and 
who was, as it were, the boundless ocean of auspicious things and one 
who gives the Atmasakti to all the gnanis. 

Sethu : 

From there, he marched to choladesa which was full of prosperity 
being watered by the river Cauvery, and where every village was a sacred 
one, being full of temples to Siva, Vishnu etc. In that land, he visited 



Svetaranya which is sacred as Kasi, Panchanada, now called Tiruvaiyar, 
Gaurimayura, Madhyarjuna, Hayavanan, Sri Vanchiyan etc. He also 
visited many other kshetras like Vedaranya and reached the southern tip. 
There he had darshan of Sethu and finished his tirthasnanas according to 
prescribed rules and had darshan of Sri Ramanatheswara and goddess 


From there he continued his tirthayatra and entered the Pandya 
land and its capital Madura. He had darshan of Goddess Minakshi in 
that sacred place. Traditional accounts describe Goddess Minakshi, 
in this context as being borne in the yaga kunda of Malayadvaja pandya, 
one who is ever young and roaming blissfully in the middle of kadamba 
trees, and as one who stopped the poison Halahala from going down the 
throat of her consort Lord Siva by applying the pressure of her hand 
there, and who being adorned with gems from top to bottom, and with 
fragrant flowers and fragnat scents, looks after the entire world by a 
mere glance of her eyes. Sri Appayya Dikshita lost himself in contem¬ 
plation of the goddess and then had darshan of Lord Sundareswara. 

it is also stated in traditional accounts that Tirumala nayaka the 
then ruling king sought the assistance of Sri Appayya Dikshita about a 
controversy about the idol that was dug up from the Punyatirtha and 
which vaishnavas claimed to be the idol of Vishvaksena and Saivas as 
that of Lord Vighnesvara. Sri Appayya Dikshita resolved it as the idol of 
Mahaganapati after quoting extensively the scriptures in support of his 
view. He also did the pratista of Mahaganapati near the southern gate 
of the Mantapa there. 

Jambukeswaram : 

He then left Madura and after performing en route the sacred 
snanas and having the darsan of murthis in various sacred places, he reached 
Tiruchirapalli on the banks of the river Cauvery. He had the darsan 
of Manikyaganapati on the top of the hill and also of Matrubhuteswara 
and goddess Suganthikunthalamba and reached Jambulinga otherwise 
known as Thiruvanaikkaval. This is mentioned in the following verses. 


?2rrf^: I 

In the above verse, mention is made of the darshan of Lord Jambunatha 
who was a svayambhu, living in the Jambukesvara, which was situated to 
the east of Sriranga, on the banks of river cauvery, and where the Lord 


who was the very incarnation of Lord Siva in his ja/a aspect, was being 
worshipped by a spider and an elephant. 

From there, he went to Srirangam which was quite near and 
had his bath in the sacred Chandrapushkarini there. Since some of 
the persons who were employed in the temple were vaishnavas, who 
did not like the presence of Sri Appayya Dikshita, he stood o^utside the 
temple itself and prayed to Lord Sri Ranganatha imagining him as if 
he were Lord Siva. Thercupoji the icon inside the temple was seen 
by some to suddenly show some aspects of Lord Siva. The temple 
priests thereupon came out, felt repentent and invited Sri Appa 5 ^a 
Dikshita to come inside the temple. He went inside and prayed to 
Lord Ranganatha in the following verse in which he says that his mind 
is full of joy in the darshah of the Lord who was bearing Sankha and 
Chakra and sleeping on Adisesha. 

About the visit of Sri Appayya Dikshita to Srirangam, there is 
another tradition preserved in the Dikshita Vamsabharanam 
of Sri Raju Sastrigal. According to this, the vaishnavas of Srirangam 
were not very happy to welcome Sri Appayya Dikshita who was known as 
‘Saivasastra pratisthapanacharya'. Knowing their hostility, Sri Appayya 
Dikshita went quietly to Srirangam mingled with the crowd there, and 
had Darshan of the Lord in cognito, and was also living for a few days 
in a neighbouring village. He was awaiting an opportune moment to 
have a formal darshan of the Lord. The vaishnavas of Srirangam who 
had by then come to know of the visit of Sri Appayya Dikshita, conspired 
to stone him and to insult him, if he should set foot inside the temple 
again. When Sri Appayya Dikshita heard this, he composed the 
following verse. 

^ ?rFiT t 

^ cTcT ika ! I 

cftsf^TT 11 


This verse given by Sri Raju Sastrigal in his Dikshita Vamsabha¬ 
ranam has not been published anywhere else. 

With the above verse, Sri Appayya Dikshita installed Lord 
Sri Ranga within his own heart, and with his desire thus fulfilled by this 
kind of worship, he returned back, to his native place. The verse means 
as follows:— 



“Oh Lord Seshasayi! You, who are a very veritable treasure of all good 
and auspicious things in the world, are living permanently within the 
Rangasthala of my own heart. In that place, I could have darshan of 
you without any fear. My soul attains complete peace and happiness 
by having darshan of you in that place.” 

Return : 

The tours of Sri Appayya Dikshita did not extend beyond the 
above. However, in one biography it is stated that he had also visited 
Tirupati once, and that the temple priest obstructed his entry on account 
of his saivite proclivities and that the Lord of the seven hills next morning 
was seen as a saivite idol. Thereupon the temple authorities begged 
pardon of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

Similarly there is a traditional account that Sri Appayya Dikshita 
had also visited Thrivanmiyur near Madras. In those days, there was 
a sacred spot called Vadasreni which is now called Velachcheri. In that 
temple, Sri Appayya Dikshita is stated to have done the pratishta of 
Srichakra. An idol said to be of Sri Appayya Dikshita is seen in that 
temple. There is another tradition that in the Chandeswara temple 
one of the two idols that are seen is that of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita is also traditionally stated to have visited 
Varanasi or Kasi, but conclusive proof is yet to come for this. The 
legendary accounts about the contemporaneity of Jagannadha Pandita 
and his encounter with Sri Appayya Dikshita on the banks of the Ganga 
are apocryphal since Sri Appayya Dikshita and Sri Jagannadha Pandita 
were separated by a number of years. Traditional accounts which 
describe his visit to Kasi state that some of the great pandits from Kasi 
who heard about the greatness of Sri Appayya Dikshita requested him 
to come there, and that Sri Appayya Dikshita in deference to their wishes 
did so, and stayed there for sometime and then returned back to his native 
place. However traditions apart, it would appear that Sri Appayya 
Dikshita did not go on tours beyond the important places in South 
India mentioned above. 

Chapter x 



Royal patronage of Vishnavism ; 

The entire life of Sri Appayya Dikshita as a teacher of Saivism is 
woven round and mixed up irretrievably with, that of a vishnavite teacheT, 
Sri Tatacharya. Even from the time of the Tuluva Emperor Atchutaraya, 
sectarian disputes between Vishnavism and Saivism had taken deep roots 
in the country. With the further patronage of Ramaraya, the regent of 
Sadasivaraya, who was a staunch Vishnavite, the antagonism towards 
Saivism reached even greater proportions. Since Sri Sadasivaraya came 
to the throne at an young age, Ramaraya, the son-in-law of the illustrious 
Vijayanagar king Sri Krishnadevaraya, who belonged to the royal family 
of Aravidu, became guardian to the king, but in effect assumed to himself 
all the powers of the king. Even after Sadasivaraya came of age, on 
account of his long continuance in the seat of power, Ramaraya used to 
wield considerable authority and influence. For a period of 23 years 
from 1542 to 1565 A.D., Ramaraya was thus practically ruling Vijaya¬ 
nagar Empire. In 1565 A.D., when Vijayanagar fell at the battle of 
Tallikota, Ramaraya was aged 97 years old. 

Sri Tatacharya the great vishnavite teacher, who was greatly 
respected and patronised by Ramaraya was thus in a position of 
power and authority, in order to tease Saivites and to put down the 
Saivite religion. It was as a reaction against this violent attack on the 
Saivite religion, that Appayya Dikshita started writing his famous 
works upholding the greatness of Lord Siva, and propagating Saivite 
religion by placing it on surer foundations. 

After the fall of Vijayanagar in the battle of Tallikota, Sadasiva¬ 
raya came to Penukonda and died there in 1567 A.D. After him, the 
kingdom went to the descendants of the Aravidu house. The younger 
brother of Ramaraya, viz., Tirumalaraya captured the throne. Seven 
years later, his son Srirangaraya became the king. Srirangaraya’s 
younger brother Venkatapati came to the throne n 1585 A.D. His 
coronation or pattabhisheka was performed by the R jaguru Sri Lakshman- 
kumara Tatacharya, whose age was then said to be only 14 years. Hence, 
we can infer from this, that by 1585 A.D., the elder Tatacharya must 
have passed away. Thus, for over a period of nearly 40 years, the elder 
Tatacharya, along with the help and influence of his disciples namely, 
the Karnatak kings of Vijayanagar, was propagating Vishnavite religion 
in a very aggressive manner. 


In view of this, in the 16th century A.D., Saivite religion lost its 
strength, and was progressively declining in its prestige and authority. 
It was to protect the Saivite religion from this opposition and also to 
resusciate its declining power, that Sri Appayya Dikshita had to take up 
cudgels, and had to write a series of books propagating his views. In 
this task, he had the patronage of king Chinna Bomma of Vellore who 
ruled for about 30 years from 1549 to 1579 A.D. Chinna Bomma accep¬ 
ted Sri Appayya Dikshita as his guru, and was helping him with a great 
deal of devotion and sincerity, in his propagation of Saivite religion. 
Chinna Bomma, though he was only a chieftain under the Vijayanagar 
kings, during the heyday of the Empire, yet, after the fall of Vijayanagar, 
proclaimed his independence and was ruling on his own. 

During the time of Sri Krishnadevaraya, Sri Acharya Dikshita, 
the grandfather of Sri Appayya Dikshita was a renowned and respected 
scholar in the royal court. But later on, Sri Appayj'a Dikshita lost all 
his contacts with that court, mainly because the regent Ramaraya who 
wielded considerable authority there, was a protagonist of the vaishnavite 
religion and royal patronage went that way. It became therefore the 
task of Sri Appayya Dikshita to take up cudgels on behalf of the saivite 
religion, and because of this, he had to incur the enmity of Sri Tatacharya. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita’s Nonsectarkm outlook : 

In reality, Sri Appayya Dikshita had no antagonism against the 
vaishnava cult. Perhaps if Sri Tatacharya had only propagated the 
ideals of vaishnavism, without resorting to propaganda against the creed 
of saivism, there might not have been any opposition to him at all. 
This is evident from the following verse of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

W JToft RRW ^ II 

The above verse means, “ I have not the slightest objection, to any one 
coming to any conclusion, that the spirit of vedas and the Vedantas, 
declare either Vishnu or Siva as the first God. I am a follower of the 
Advaita doctrine. I have no difference between Siva and Vishnu. But 
if in order to establish Vishnu as the main God, if somebody starts abusing 
Siva or hates him, I cannot bear it. There are as many proofs or pramanas 
in the vedas, Vedantas, Puranas, and Agamas to establish that Siva is a, 
mighty God, as there are to prove that Vishnu is a powerful one. 
However, I am propagating my religion and indulging in debate and 
disputation, only to persuade everyone not to hate Siva. Let no one 
have the slightest doubt that I either hate or wish to denigrade Lord 
Vishnu simply because I praise the grace and greatness of Lord Siva. ” 



The sublime devotion of Dikshita to Lord Vishnu is fully seen 
from his great work “ Varadaraja Slava ” where he has sung in ecstatic 
poetry about Lord Varadaraja of Kanchipuram. He also proves 
that he has no kind of partiality about any one, in his equally power¬ 
ful work ‘ Ratna traya pariksha Vaishnavas declare that Vishnu is 
the supreme being and that Siva nas a lower status being mere Jiva. 
Sri Dikshita however proves in his Ratna traya pariksha, that Siva, Vishnu, 
Ambika, all the three are the same, viz., the supreme reality, and proves 
it with the pramanas taken from the puranas, vedas and agamas. 

All that Sri Appayya Dikshita taught, was, to remove sectarian 
animosity, sectarian fighting, and the spirit of hatred, and to foster in 
their place, an outlook of give and take and a policy of co-existence. 
For this, he delved deep into the smritis, puranas, and agamas and wrote 
a number of works praising Lord Siva. He also formulated various rites 
for the worship of Lord Siva. He strengthened the Saivite cult. 
He removed the fear in the minds of the followers of the Saivism 
and thus removed the danger of its annihilation, and restored to it its 
pristine glory. He also established on an unshakable foundation, the 
doctrinal bases on which the greatness of Siva, and the Saivite cult rest. 

Sri Dikshita's Works on Saivism : 

Sri Dikshita has written a number of works on the greatness of 
the Saivite cult, of which the following are the most important. 

1. Sikharini mala 

2. Siva tatva viveka 

3. Siva karnamrita 

4. Ramayana tatparya sangraha 

5. Bharata tatparya sangraha 

6. Brahma tarka stava 

1. Sivarchana chandrika 

8. Siva puja vidhi 

9. Siva dhyana paddhati 

10. Sivarka mani dipika 

Of the above, Sivarka mani dipika belongs to Vedanta. This is a 
commentary on the Srikantabhashya. Long after the time of 
Bhagavadpada Sri Sankaracharya, the great teacher Srikantabhashya had 
written a commentary on the Brahmasutras of Vyas . Its tenets were 
very close to Advaita but different from it. Some pec yie called Srikanta’s 
theory as Saiva Visistadvaita. In the ultimate anlysis, there is not much 
difference between this and the Visistadvaita, taught by Sri Ramanuja- 
charya. The main point of difference was whether the absolute in its 
manifestation as a sagunabrahma was Siva or Vishnu. We do not 
know whether Srikanta was earlier or later to Sri Ramanujacharya. 


Sri Appayya Dikshita adumberated Saiva Visistadvaita by his 
new commentary in place of the Vaishnava Visistadvaita and also propa¬ 
gated it. The king Chinna Bomma did kanakabhiseka to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita as soon as his monumental work Sivarka mani dipika was over. 
He also gave all assistance to propagate this among other scholars. 
Epigraphical evidence at Adayapalam village shows that five hundred 
pandits learnt this work with Sri Appayya Dikshita, and that they went 
in all directions and spread this doctrine. The whole world of pandits 
became full of people praising and singing this great work. This acted 
as a counter blast to the Vishnavite propaganda, that was rampant then. 

One poet, who belonged to the days of Sri Appayya Dikshita has 
written as follows : 

“ When there are a number of kings who are waiting for an opportunity 
to pay obesience to Sri Appayya Dikshita and become purified by it, 
can we, by any chance, count the greatness of Chinna Bomma, who 
is in the fortunate position of hearing everyday from the master himself, 
the great verses being sung full of the greatness of Lord Siva.” 

Nigrahastaka ; 

That there must have been a great deal of persecution of Saivism 
and Saivite worships, under the royal patronage of Ramaraya is evident 
from the work Nigrahastaka, written by Sri Appayya Dikshita, which men¬ 
tions the great harm done to Saivas and particularly to Appayya Dikshita 
by the Vaishnavite propagandists. The language of the Nigrahastaka 
shows that Sri Appayya Dikshita wrote it in a mood of great anger and 
fury. We are able to infer from this that when he wrote it, the situation 
about the persecution of the Saivites must have gone very much beyond 

In the Nigrahastaka Sri Appayya Dikshita prays for the protection 
of the Lord at a time when his very life was threatened. He pleads 
with the Lord that the enemy could no longer be tolerated and that there 
is no other go except to kill him. To provoke Sri Appayya Dikshita to 
this mood, there must have been a great deal of provocation. The 
summary of Nigrahastaka is as follows : 

iTFRifPT i%??rrfsnFr I 



^ ^raFTRTt ^ 


^'6'ji^q'i'tiaT RRiriw; f5R?%r 

O C\ N 

‘pT'jf #c5rHFr*( i 

2Tf^ ^4 't?Wfi5T55T'*TFft 
MiTf4 ^ 5Tf4TFT^1f|W: WK^rpjtll 

“ Though I fully know the danger that my enemy has reserved for me, 
still I have made up my mind to go on my travels with the help of Lord 
Margasahayeswara (to propagate Saivism). I propose to go through 
forests and uninhabitated places. May the Lord destroy my enemy who 
proposes to kill me on account of his animosity towards me. Let there 
be thousands of enemies in my way intent on harming me. Even if Lord 
Brahma has ordained it so, I am not afraid. I am very clear that my 
Lord will stand before me armed with bow and arrows and protect me. 

The enemy is making pious people shed tears by his atrocities in 
order to completely root )ut all signs of Saivism; all because he is unable 
to control his hatred towards the rudraksha and vibhuti worn by the 
devotees of Lord Siva. But his plans will not be fulfilled. He will 
become a prey to the great anger of Nandi. God Nandi will ensure by 
his protection that the Saivite religion is propagated throughout the world. 

If the enemy by force wants to do mudrangana to the Saivites, 
and convert them to Vishnavism, he is trying to dig his own grave. Oh 
Lord Paramasiva, let there not be any delay in the matter. Please come 
forward immediately in order to punish these enemies who do harm and 
evil to your followers. 

If Lord Siva is really the creator of the entire universe; if the 
Vedas, puranas and agamas are true; if there is any kind of glory or 
mahima in those who wear vibhuti and rudraksha; then let that enemy 
attain immediate destruction. ” 

We can infer from the tone of the above writing, how much 
provocation there should have been to Sri Appay> Dikshita to write 
in this language. 

Chapter XI 


In the Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya, a biography of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita written by Sri Sivananda Yogi, a number of anecdotes about the 
obstacles that were put in the way of Sri Appayya Dikshita by Sri 
Tatacharya are mentioned. Some of them may be apocryphal, and 
some of them may be legendary. 

Tradition has it that Sri Dikshita and Sri Tatacharya were origi¬ 
nally on good terms on the ground that both were renowned scholars. 
It is also said that after the Nigrahastaka, Sri Appayya Dikshita composed 
another work called Anugrahastaka in order to save the enemy from the 
great danger that befell him particularly from his own curse. But no 
copy of Anugrahastaka has upto now been published. However, 
tradition has it that in his later days Sri Tatacharya changed his mind 
and that as a kind of recompense for the harm he did to the saivites, 
he did certain good deeds to them at the behest of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 
For example, the Gopuram of the Siva Temple in Tirukkazhikunram 
is said to have been built by Sri Tatacharya. Even today it is called as 
“ Tatacharya gopuram ”. In the Siva temple on the top of the hill, the 
service of the Lord for bringing water to the abhisekha is said to be done 
by the descendants of Sri Tatacharya’s family till today. They have 
even now some lands for this service given to them from the days of 
Sri Tatacharya. 

The following stories about the obstacles and the dangers created 
by Sri Tatacharya to Sri Appayya Dikshita as narrated by Sri Siva¬ 
nanda Yogi in his Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya are still current as legen 
dary accounts connected with the life of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

1. Dispelling the confusion of Chinna Bomma: It is said that 
when Sri Appayya Dikshita performed his vajapeya yagna, the 
Tanjore King Narasimha Raya, respected him and gave him a lot of 
presents, and did personal service to Sri Dikshita, during the time of the 
ambhrita by himself holding the white umbrella above him as a mark of 
respect. After sometime when Sri Appayya Dikshita had lived apart 
from Vellore, Sri Tatacharya carried tales to Chinna Bomma, the king of 
Vellore, converted him to Vaishnavismand made him join his group. When 
Sri Appayya Dikshita returned to Vellore after the Vajapeya, he heard 
about the above, felt very sorry, and was indifferent towards the King. 
In view of his respected teacher’s indifference, Chinna Bomma became 
remorseful and sent learned men to remove the misunderstanding from 



Sri Appayya Dikshita’s mind and requested him to forgive all his faults. 
He also made a small image of pure gold, and sent a palanquin along with 
it to Sri Appayya Dikshita’s house, with an invitation that Sri Dikshi- ta 
should grace the palace again. 

Though he was obstructed by Sri Tatacharya, the King came out 
of the palace and was awaiting Sri Dikshita’s arrival. A lot of royal 
dancers, pandits, elderly persons and a number of palace servants with 
silken umbrellas, chamaras, silver sticks etc. were all gathered in order 
to give a fitting reception to Sri Dikshita. When Sri Dikshita came near 
the King, the King fell at his feet and personally requested pardon for 
any misunderstanding that might have occurred and told him that he 
was greatly confused by the propaganda of Sri Tatacharya. The King 
also told him that Sri Tatacharya was marrying at the king’s cost, all the 
Brahmacharis who were prepared to convert themselves to Vaishnavism 
after the nudrangana and Sri Tatacharya had performed about nine 
thousand marriages with five suvarna pushpas in each case. 

In view of this, people were beginning to wonder whether 
Sri Tatacharya was not the real King. All the palanquins and the other 
pomp that went with Sri Tatacharya made the people feel that he was more 
important than the King himself. In view of this, the King said that 
unless Sri Appayya Dikshita came to his rescue a situation might arise 
when he may have to leave the kingdom itself. With these words, the 
King took Sri Dikshita into the palace. Sri Dikshita then taught him 
all the philosophical works and the King’s confusion was dispelled and 
the King built a palace for him in the garden. 

2. Curing Poisonous Fever Induced By Black Magic: 
Sri '1 tacharya got angry at the above behaviour of the King. By virtue 
of his black magic powers, or abhichara prayoga as it is called, he spread 
a poisonous type of fever among all the ladies of the harem, and 
also among the people of the city. The population got thoroughly 
scared and went to represent to the King. The King was in a quandary, 
and did not know how to help the people, since the fever would not go 
by any of the three traditional methods of mani, mantra and aushada. 
Finally he suspected that this fever must have been due to the abhichara 
prayoga of the Buddhists, who must have been set to this purpose by 
Sri Tatacharya. He therefore, went to Sri Appayya Dikshita and 
represented that all the wealth, glory, strength etc., which he enjoyed 
in full measure, due to the grace of his guru, have all now gone away, 
on account of the sin which he had committed. All his people <vho were 
affected by the fever, were coming in groups before the palace, and were 
cursing the King. Hence he prayed that Sri Appayya Dikshita should 
restore confidence among the people by his grace. Sri Appayya Dikshita 
started praying to Lord Siva and began to do japa of the Vedamantras. 
He also did homa using ghee, rice etc., in the manner prescribed in the 


scriptures. Immediately the fever began to come down among the people 
and they all returned to their homes contended. Some persons, who saw 
some persons doing the abhichara, represented to the King about it. 
Sri Dikshita on hearing this said that though they had not done any harm 
to Sri Tatacharya, Sri Tatacharya was harming them in more than 
hundred ways, and that God was witness to it, but he requested the king 
not to take any precipitate action. 

3. Countering the Evil Effects of Black Magic in His Own House : 
Another time, Sri Tatacharya along with the help of certain mantrikas, 
who were adept in the art of Black Magic was able to pour blood and 
flesh very near the puja griha or place of worship, in the house of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. Sri Dikshita, early in the morning when he was 
about to start for his bath became suspicious, on account of the 
bad odour, got a light and saw what had happened. He immediately 
became very sad and started praying to Lord Siva through the veda 
mantras. Immediately one bhuta, which is the traditional follower of 
Lord Siva appeared on the scene and cleaned up the place. Also the 
mantrika, through whose black magic, this evil deed was done, was 
immediately afflicted with leprosy. On seeing this, the people and the 
king were fully convinced that Sri Dikshita was a veritable avatara of 
Lord Siva himself. 

4. Drinking The Poisoned Abhisheka Water; Next Sri Tata¬ 
charya adopted a different techinque in order to get rid of Sri Dikshita. 
He bribed the archaka of the Vishnu temple with three hundred gold 
coins, and instructed him to mix up poison with the abhisheka tirtha which 
was to be given as prasada. On the mahavyatipata day, Sri Appayya 
Dikshita came to the Vishnu temple after performing puja in the Siva 
temple. A number of persons had gathered there as usual. The priest 
first gave him the usual prasada, and while about to give him the poison, 
on account of his guilty conscience, was highly disturbed and perturbed, 
and was shaking in his limbs. Sri Appayya Dikshita guessed what must 
have happened but still he accepted calmly the poisoned tirtha . The 
people around were greatly agitated. Sri Dikshita’s friends and foes 
alike tried to get near him, but Sri Dikshita without flinching in any 
manner, and with absolute calm prayed to Lord Siva who had traditionally 
drank the poison Kalakuta and took the poison given to him by the priest 
of the temple with the following verse : 


'qR^noTi ftr? i 


II *’ 

The above verse means “ I am not a poet; neither am I a sage; nor a deva. 
I am the same as Parabhrahma, Lord Siva. Both nector and poison and 



all other beings and things known and unknown have all come from 
me, the supreme. Of what consequence is mere poison to me 

After taking the poison, Sri Dikshita calmly went out of the temple. 
The followers of Sri Tatacharya were glad and were certain that he 
would die of the effects of poison. The devotees of Sri Dikshita were 
equally certain that he would outlive and digest the poison. When he 
returned to the house, the King who heard about it brought a number of 
doctors well conversant with the antidotes of the poison etc. After 
seeing the illustrious scholar without any kind of agitation, without in 
the least being affected by the poison, he bowed before him and returned 
along with his teacher to the palace. His hatred of Sri Tatacharya 
increased on account of this and he became a more staunch disciple of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

5. Manifesting the Power of Lord Agni: Sri Tatacharya never 
liked the great veneration and worship which the King had for 
Sri Dikshita. Once when the king was leaving the royal court, he told him 
in confidential tones “ Oh King; when we want to bless the King, we 
always do it with the right hand. Sri Dikshita however always blesses 
your with his left hand on account of his arrogance. Many devoted and 
loyal persons like me, are unable to bear this insult. ” 

The King who was a great devotee of Sri Dikshita was able to 
sense that Sri Tatacharya was out for some mischief, and told him that 
he would enquire into the matter the next day. When the king later asked 
Sri Dikshita about this, Sri Dikshita replied that any learned pandit will 
tell the King as to the proper method prescribed in the sastras for blessing 
the King and that, if necessary, he would himself explain the procedure 
in the court next day. 

Next day when this point came up, the other pandits were feeling 
embarassed in -oeaking out the truth. Then Sri Dikshita himself got 
up and began to explain the proper method of blessing as laid down in 
the sastras, and said that as per the smritis, a real Brahmana, has to bless 
only with his left hand, since an ahitagni had always got the five agnis in 
his right hand, which would burn down anyone against whom it was 
indicated. When the others were not fully satisfied and wanted to know 
whether Sri Dikshita had the fire or agni in his right hand, Sri Dikshita 
opened out his palm, and looked at it intently for a minute. Immedi¬ 
ately smoke came and after some time flames started shooting out of 
it. All the birds in the trees near the palace started shouting hoarsely 
and were running away. The king prostrated before him and requested 
him to calm down the fire. 

The King Chinna Bomma became more and more attached to 
Sri Dikshita and wanted to do Sivapuja himself. Sri Appayya Dikshita 
therefore composed the Sivarchana Chandrika which lays down the 


detailed procedure and rules of worshipping Lord Siva. The King also 
performed Sivapuja in the manner laid down and attained great heights. 

6. Foiling the Attempt at Murder : Sri Tatacharya wanted 
somehow or other to do away with Sri Dikshita and hence requested the 
commander-in-chief to help him in this endeavour. The commander- 
in-chief stated that though Sri Tatacharya was a great guru, still no one 
could help him in such a heinous crime as this. But he said that as the 
King could order anything, they as soldiers, would obey instantly any 
royal orders. Sri Tatacharya then told him that the King had given 
him permission a thousand times in this matter, but that the king was 
feeling embarassed to tell the commander-in-chief personally and that 
Sri Tatacharya would bring the King’s own handwritten orders the next 
day, as proof of the King’s orders to kill Sri Appayya Dikshita and 
requested the commander-in-chief to keep the whole matter confidential- 

Sri Tatacharya waited till the king left the palace, went inside, and 
took away the King’s royal seal by stealth, affixed it to a document drawn 
up by himself and brought it and showed it to the commander-in-chief. 

The commander-in-chief, though the whole project was distaste¬ 
ful to him, still thought that as it was the command of the King it had to 
be obeyed, and therefore agreed to execute it. He stationed two hundred 
warriors between the King’s palace and the house of Sri Dikshita with 
drawn swords at suitable intervals. Sri Tatacharya also supervised 
the arrangements. After doing this at night, he told the personal 
attendant of the King to go to Sri Dikshita and request him to come 
over to the King immediately. His idea was to cut Sri Appayya Dikshita 
down when he came out. The attendant came and represented to 
Sri Dikshita that the King wanted to see him. Sri Dikshita got out of his 
house in a great hurry not knowing what had befallen the King at the 
middle of the night. He also prayed traditionally to the Lord in the 
following verse : 

“ Let Lord Siva, the leader of the Devas mount Nandi, who is as big as a 
mountain and go before me. My Lord is being worshipped by all the 
guardians of the eight directions who are being woken as it were by the 
sound of the belt round the Nandi. Let the Lord mounted on the 
Vrishabha, and keeping goddess Parvati by his side, go before me. ” 

With the conviction that the Lord was guarding him Sri Dikshita 
without his disciples and without his palaquin started walking alone 



towards the King’s palace in the middle of the night. En route, on seeing 
the murderers with drawn swords, he concluded that this must be another 
intrigue of Sri Tatacharya, but did not hesitate, and went on crossing 
one after another, the vai'ious gates of the palace and came very near 
the sleeping quarters of the King. The soldiers who had been stationed 
to strike him down, were standing like logs of wood losing all their 
powers of movement. 

When Sri Dikshita came inside the palace, the palace servants 
were greatly agitated and were running hither and thither. The King who 
awoke on account of the noise, found Sri Dikshita coming towards him 
at midnight and not knowing what the reason was asked him the reason 
for his visit. Sri Dikshita by this enquiry was certain that the King had 
not sent for him, and that it was another intrigue of Sri Tatacharya. He 
told him, that he wanted to tell the King something but that he had 
forgotten it, and that he would remember it and tell him the next morning. 
Saying this, he went away. The King thought there must be something 
wrong somewhere. 

Next day morning, finding that the usual paraphernalia of the 
palace was not there, the King eame out of his palace, and found 
all his soldiers standing like stones with drawn swords. Following 
them he found, that the trail led to the house of Sri Apppayya 
Dikshita. He asked Sri Appayya Dikshita as to why the soldiers were 
standing with drawn swords and asked him to explain it. Sri Dikshita 
then told him that a servant from the palaee came to him at midnight 
inviting him to go over there and that he found these persons with drawn 
swords enroute and prayed to the Lord. The King was then convinced 
that it was an intrigue of Sri Tatacharya. Since the Soldiers were merely 
obeying orders, he asked for their forgiveness and on Sri Appayya 
Dikshita’s praying to Lord Siva, they all regained their consciousness 
and went about. On that day the King took Sri Dikshita in a big palan¬ 
quin, organised a big vidvat scibha and also honoured him extensively. 

7. Dissociating Himself from His disease : Once Sri Tatacharya 
who felt that the great respect and veneration which the King had for 
Sri Dikshita must somehow be lowered, told him that Sri Dikshita was 
sufFereing from a fell disease and that he was keeping it secret, and that 
if the King would only go to his house he would know the truth. He 
also told the King that persons afflicted with such diseases should not 
be seen by the King. The King who wanted to test this, went to Sri 
Dikshita’s house without any prior notice. Sri Dikshita received him and 
was talking with him in the normal manner. However, the deer skin on 
which he was sitting was violently shaking here and there. The King 
saw this and while taking leave of Sri Dikshita asked him as to why the 
deer skin was so shaking. Sri Dik.shita told him that on account of 
prarabdha he was beset with fits, but that whenever he felt it necessary, he 


transferred it to his seat, and after finishing his work he would take it 
over and suffer himself the disease. The King was astounded at this 
great yogic power of Sri Dikshita, and his respect for him increased 
thousand times more. 

8. Giving Darshan of His True Self as an Incarnation of Lord 
Siva : Sri Dikshita used now and then to go into a deserted mantapa 
and enter yoga samadhi. Once some of his disciples wanted to see 
this, and on being permitted by Sri Dikshita they saw that his body had 
become merged with the inner light. They found that Sri Dikshita was 
being seated in the middle of a great cobra and all his limbs were also 
covered by snakes. Some of the disciples were bold enough to see this 
while some others were afraid and prayed to him that they were unable 
to behold that great sight. Sri Dikshita came out of the Samadhi and 
became his usual self. When this episode came to be fully known 
the people came for darshan of Sri Dikshita likening him to be an 
incarnation of Sri Dakshinamurti and Sri Nataraja. Sri Tatacharya 
tried to poison the mind of the King by telling him that Sri Dikshita was a 
magician and that he was exhibiting only some shows by his magical 
powers. In spite of this, the King brushed it off and had darshan of 
Sri Dikshita and was greatly benefited. 

9. Invoking Lord Agni to prove His Detachment : Sri Tata¬ 
charya on another occasion wanted to end the King’s patronage to 
Sri Dikshita and told the King as follows : “ O King !.. there is no need 
for you to give me any wealth. I have also no desire to remain in power 
or in positions of influence. I have no fear from any one. I am not 
continuing in your court on account of this. It is only my friendship 
towards you, since I have moved with you for a long time, that impels 
me to be with you, and hence I am not able to go away from you. Can 
an enlightened person like you throw his own guru and his own religion 
and go towards another religion and guru? You may kindly think over 
the matter yourself. There is no need for me to specially tell you any¬ 
thing, since you are quite competent to analyse matters for yourself. In 
the world, a person may be wise, may be learned, and full of wisdom, 
but there is no reason as to why one should go away from his own 
traditional achara. I therefore feel that your attachement to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita is not for your ultimate good. I have no objection to your 
giving houses, gardens, lands, jewellery to him. I have also no objection 
to your respecting him. Though the King of Tanjore had given a great 
deal of wealth to Sri Appayya Dikshita, he is moving about here and there 
as if he is a very poor man. We do not know if his poverty is really due to 
any original sins of his, or if he is assuming poverty because he is greedy.” 

Sri Dikshita was at that time, performing a yagna at Kalahasti. 
The King was also intrigued as to why Sri Dikshita was still leading a 
poor life, though many Kings were giving a lot of gifts. As soon he 



heard that the Tanjore King Sri Nrisimha was also likely to go to Kalahasti 
for the avabrita bath, he also went there. 

Sri Dikshita who learnt about the King’s doubts prayed the 
Yagneswara in the following terms : “ That I was gifting away all my 
wealth to the Lord in the form of Agni has to be proved before these 
people by the Lord himself. ” As soon as he so prayed, a great flame 
shot up in the Yagnasala, and the traditional three fires or tretagnis 
went on increasing in intensity. All persons present began to pray to 
Lord Agnideva and asked him to calm down forgiving their sins. At 
that time all sorts of things like milk, ghee, honey, clothes, silks, garlands, 
ornaments of gold, all came out of the agni, and both the Kings were 
able to recognise, that all these were things given by them as gifts to 
Sri Appayya Dikshita earlier. They were therefore satisfied that 
Sri Appayya Dikshita had not converted anything to his own personal 
use, and they also understood that whatever they gave to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita was in effect being spent by him in the service of Siva. 

10. Striking his enemy by the power of his curse: Next 
Sri Tatacharya engaged some thieves and asked them to steal the Siva Linga 
which was being worshipped by Sri Appayya Dikshita every day. 
Since he and the other members of his family never used to take their 
food before doing puja to Siva, they were all starving for more than five 
days. The people could guess that this was an intrigue of Sri Tatacharya 
and represented to the King. Sri Dikshita himself got thoroughly 
annoyed and uttered a curse in the following verse : 

WvrqfT jTPtr gisTfr i 

“If it is true that Lord Siva is the progenitor of the entire world; 
if the pumas and agamas are true; if people who have vibhuti and 
rudraksha are really to be respected; why is it then that my enemy is 
not suddenly being struck down dead.” 

The moment Sri Dikshita uttered these words, a thunderbolt 
fell on Sri Tatacharya who was sitting in his own house. All his relatives 
were dumb struck by this and returned the stolen Siva Linga to 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

When they represented to Sri Appayya Dikshita the condition of 
Sri Tatacharya, Sri Appayya Dikshita gave the abhisekha water, with 
which Lord Siva was worshipped and on sprinkling it over him, 
Sri Tatacharya regained his consciousness. From that day onwards, 
tradition has it, that he gave up his antagonism to Saivism, and that he 
also started worshipping Lord Siva in the manner suggested by 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

Chapter XII 


Sri Sivanandayogi in his Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya has 
collected many other stories and anecdotes about the life of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita which have been coming down from generation to generation. 
It is possible that he might also have referred to certain older biographies 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita which are no longer available, or more probably 
the older biographies might have been based on the legendary details 
about Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

But there are two points which we may keep in view. Firstly, 
King Narasimha of Tanjore could not have been the patron of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, right through his life time. It was only in the 
middle of the 16th Century A.D., that Tanjore was captured by Vijaya- 
nagar empire and brought under the Nayak rule. Also, Sri Tatacharya 
with whom Sri Appayya Dikshita’s name is connected in a number of 
anecdotes, was not the royal guru of Sri Chinna Bomma of Vellore. 
He was the royal guru of Vijayanagar. Vellore Kingdom declared its 
independence from the great Vijayanagar empire after its fall in the 
battle of Tallikota. But these historical facts have got mixed up in 
these traditional anecdotes about Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

Also, the legendary accounts that have come down to us about 
Sri Appayya Dikshita are not all identical in all respects. It is also 
common experience that such stories, which are handed down from hand 
to hand, attain different colours from change of the authors. For 
example, the story of the composition of Nigrahastaka by Sri Appayya 
Dikshita has been attributed by several authors to different purposes as 
mentioned elsewhere in this. 

(i) Nigrahastaka : 

It is stated that Sri Appayya Dikshita was going along with his 
disciples and followers in a palanquin through the streets of Vellore. 
Sri Tatacharya, the royal guru of Vijayanagar empire had kept certain 
paid murderers to do away with him. This was found out by the disciples 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita and their evil intent was made known to him. 
Sri Appayya Dikshita then prayed to Lord in his Nigrahastaka and 
asked the palanquin bearers to proceed ahead. The palanquin also 
went on its own way with the servants all shouting the name of Lord Siva. 
It so happened that the persons who had been set in hiding in order to kill 
Sri Appayya Dikshita were not able to lift their limbs and were standing 
like statues. Sri Appayya Dikshita and his followers crossed the ferries 



in safety and went towards their own places. At tlie time when 
Sri Appayya Dikshita finished composition of this Nigrahastaka 
Sri Tatacharya fell down in his house being struck by a lightning as it 
were. Sri Appayya Dikshita who heard about this went to his house 
and gave him relief. 

(ii) Samadhi State : 

There is also another story with a slight different sequence. It is 
stated .hat Sri Appayya Dikshita was sitting in his house in his pujagriha 
immersed in the meditation of the Lord. His wife wanted to have a 
darshan of the samadhi state of Sri Appayya Dikshita. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita told her that it was not possible for her to bear the sight, but 
in spite of it, she was insistent. Then Sri Appayya Dikshita told her, 
that if she was so keen and bent upon having the darshan of his samadhi 
state, she should make a small hole in the door of the room and then 
peep through it. During his samadhi state, Sri Appayya Dikshita used 
to shine like flames and serpents used to come and encircle his limbs. His 
wife saw this, and the next moment, she fell down unconscious. After 
sometime she regained her senses but unfortunately lost her eyesight. 

Such stories might have been born on the basis of some actual 
incidents. They might also have been conceived by the devoted disciples 
later on. Generally such legends and miracles are invented about great 
persons. These are intended to prove that great persons are capable of 
working miracles and that their lives are not to be viewed from the 
standards of ordinary persons. For devotees it is better to leave the 
matter at that, and not try to delve deep into these. 

(in) Vajapeya Yagna ; 

There are certain other incidents which are mentioned in the 
‘ Appayya Dikshitendra Vijaya ’ of Sri Sivananda yogi. During the time 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita, the leaders of Madhvas and Vaishnavas were 
condemning the practice of yagnas and yagas. Sri Appayya Dikshita 
had performed the Vajapeya yagna right at the beginning of his career. 
During the course of that yagna, the goats that were intended to 
be sacrificed were brought and tied up in the yagnasalas. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita’s mind was troubled that he was to put these animals to death. 
But he hardened his heart on account of the fact that it had become 
necessary on account of the Vedic injunctions. Once again he started 
thinking in his mind as to why the vedas should enjoin upon such 
cruelties. The ritviks who had gathered there tried to console him with 
some brave words. But Sri Appayya Dikshita was not fully convinced 
and started praying to the Lord as follows : 

m B'cTTrfr^t 

m bw trfH; n 


^ ^ iT|?r II 


?rRt: I 

>» > "S v» > 0 

R tRcr ^ ^RarRjf^TTWir: I 

^ RT JTR fwrr: 11 

“ That vedic sruti, which is the life breath of dharma, whose words are 
always eternal, in abiding by which alone is final liberation possible; that 
fruti is the final proof and authority for people like us. It also is our 
final refuge. Only god can finally know the truth behind that innovation 
of sruli, which from one point of view would appear to be cruel, and from 
another point of view would appear to be blameless. It is our duty to 
Follow the injunctions of the sruti. The animals which are brought for 
sacrifice might perhaps really conquer death. Their soul cannot be 
cut by knife. Perhaps we are not really harming them and neither are 
they really dying. ” 

It is stated that as soon as Sri Appayya Dikshita prayed in the 
above manner, the animals that had gathered round for being killed 
got back their life. 

(iv) Worship of Siva ; 

Sri K. V. Subrahmanya Sastry had gathered together some further 
incidents which have been left out by Sri Sivananda yogi and had published 
all these things in his book 'Sri Appayya Dikshita Vijaya Sri Sastry was 
born in the tenth generation in the family of Sri Appayya Dikshita. He 
was a Sanskrit pandit. Taking Sri Sivananda yogi’s book as his basis, 
he had gathered together some further legends and published them in 
his Sanskrit biography of Sri Appayya Dikshita. There are further one 
or two anecdotes of Sri Appayya Dikshita in it. They are as follows : 

Sri Appayya Dikshita was engaged in Sivapuja all his life. One 
day, one of his younger disciples got a doubt as to how Lord Siva could 
be worshipped, if one was unclean, and whether he could be worshipped 
at all or not, when a person was unclean in body or in mind. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita explained that if a person cleans his feet and limbs, and more 
important cleans his mind, he could then pray and worship Lord Siva 



with his mind, even though the body may be unclean. He was of the 
view that utter devotion to the Lord is the real test, and that Lord Siva 
would take into consideration only the state of cleanliness of the mind 
alone. He gave his views as follows : “ The Pandyan king had beat 
the Lord with a cane. One hunter gave him flesh as an offering. Kanna- 
ppa kicked him with his foot but the Lord took all these things as real 
worship done to him. The Lord does not desire external manifesta¬ 
tions of worship. But he is satisfied if there is real devotion in the hearts 
of the devotees ”. 

fvj Sankalpa Suryodaya : 

In Kanchipuram, the vaishnava pandits established a big dramatic 
troupe and enacted a drama ‘ Sankalpa Suryodaya ’ there. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita was also invited to witness it. He was given the first place and 
was well respected. ‘ Sankalpa Suryodaya ’ was written by Sri Vedanta 
Desika in competition to the ‘ Prabhodha Chandrodaya ’ of Sri Krishna- 
nanda. In that, the drama has been conceived, as if the jiva is rescued 
out of samsara and taken through several bodies to the final advaitic 
consummation. As a counter plot to this Sri Vedanta Desika wrote 
the Sankalpa Suryodaya following the doctrine of Visistadvaita vedanta. 
In the second act of that play, the following verse occurs : 

d I ill d H i 
d d ii ffi 

f wg w 11 

“ I bow before the feet of those great persons who follow the religion 
of Ramanuja, and for others who follow the other schools of thought 
and who out of arrogance debate about other matters, I place my feet on 
their heads ”. 

While this verse was being enacted the actors came upto the 
place where Sri Appayya Dikshita was sitting and as if in mimicry, 
tried to place their feet upon Sri Appayya Dikshita’s head. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita did not react to this. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita then felt personally how much antagonism 
there was towards the followers of advaila and the bhaktas of Lord Siva. 
He thought over the matter and took a vow to propagate both the cults 
of Lord Vishnu and the greatness of Lord Siva. He started to think 
deeply about the great danger that was likely to befall on the advaitic 

(vi) Sasta : 

Once upon a time, in a temple, there was an image of Lord Sasta. 
Sasta is supposed to have been born to Lord Siva through Mohini, the 



female avatar of Lord Vishnu. The image was portrayed as if the 
fingers were placed on the nose giving the impression that the image was 
in deep thought. The king who happened to come there asked the 
villagers as to the reason for this posture, and an old man in the village 
said, that there was an ancient legned about this, which was that a great 
person will visit the village in course of time, and will then give the reason 
why sasta was sitting in that posture and that if the real reason came out 
sasta would take away his finger from his nose. 

The king then turned to Tatacharya and asked him to give the 
reason. Tatacharya then told him in the following verse that Sasta 
was in a meditating mood because he was depressed that he was always 
surrounded by bhutaganas of Lord Siva whose son he was, even though 
all the devas also use to do obedience to him in view of the fact that he is 
the son of Vishnu also. 

^Tpffs^ I 



With this explanation Sasta did not lift his finger. Then, the king 
looked at Sri Appayya Dikshita and then Sri Appayya Dikshita uttered 
the following verse: 

'Tr?ir: I 


tnrwKtHS ^p+vii^Ri^ ii 

The meaning of the above verse is as follows : 

“ I could call Goddess Gowri as mother since all the wives of the father 
are mother to me. But I am at a loss as to how call Goddess Lakshmi 
who happens to be the wife of my mother ! ” 

The story goes that as soon as this verse was given out, sasta in 
the image lifted his finger from his nose. 

(vii) Panchakshari : 

A rare verse written by Sri Raju Sastrigal in his ‘ Dikshitendra 
Vamsabharana ’ runs as follows : 

This must have been written by Sri Appayya Dikshita during some 
interesting experience of his. He says in this verse, that as a consequence 



of doing penance and meritorious acts, one will be born as’an Andhra, 
wil’ have Andhra bhasha as one’s mother-tongue, will study the mimamsa 
sasi. r of Frabhakara, and will have Yajurveda as one’s veda. While 
writing the commentary of this, the author says, that because the Andhra 
territory is situated in the middle of Trilinga (bounded by three famous 
sivalinga temples) the area was called as Trilingadesa and its people were 
called as Trailingas. The persons who live there generally wore the 
tripundra and worshipped Lord Siva as Triambaka. The land has 
the pratishta of Paraineswara within its boundaries. The people bear 
the marks of Saivism and are generally Sivopasakas. Hence the land 
is full of merit. Their language is also a very sweet one. The Frabhakara 
mimamsa is replete with very interesting dialectical poems and is able 
to give full work to one’s powers of thought and intelligence. Similarly, 
the Yajurveda is very essential for performance of the yagnas etc. Even 
a Samavedi, if he wants to perform yagnas, has to learn the Yajurveda in 
order to know the liturgical processes. Hence the importance of Yajur¬ 
veda for the vaidika-achara. Moreover, Sri Rudra contains the most 
potent panchakshara mantra. 

The above shows the great attachment of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
to Lord Siva which resulted in his partiality to the Andhra country, 
as in that country Fanchakshari was taught to the young children from 
very tender age. 

(viii) Achchal : 

There is an amusing story which is said of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s 
victorius return from one of his dialectical tours. When he came back to 
his village, the women of the locality were drawing water from a common 
well and as he was on the way home, the women called out “ here comes 
the husband of Achchalamma.” 

Then Sri Appayya Dikshita is said to have remarked, 
“ In this village, the famous person 
who really counts is Achchalamma.” 

Although the above is an uncorroborated story, it has been men¬ 
tioned as part of the family history or legend that Sri Appayya Dikshita 
married that lady in the following circumstances. Once while 
Sri Appayya Dikshita was performing his ablu tions in a tank, he found that 
a young girl of about twelve years of age was trying to drown herself. He 
rescued her and in answer to his question she replied that her parents, 
were unable to secure a bride groom for her, on account of their poverty 
and were constantly bemoaning their lot and reproaching her. She was 
therefore putting an end to her life. Sri Appayya Dikshta on hearing 
this promised to marry her and fulfilled his promise. 

The above may probably be a purely traditional account but it is 
one of the legendary anecdotes connected with the life of Sri Appayya 

Chapter XIII 

The Three Great Advaita Acharyas : 

There were three great dravida acharyas who have expounded 
the advaitic system of philosophy. The earliest is known only by quota¬ 
tions from his lost commentaries as a dravida acharya. The second was 
Sri Bhagavadpada Sri Sankara himself. Sri Appayya Dikshita is trad- 
tionally held to be the third on this list. He also formed along with 
Sri Sankara and Haradattacharya another venerable trio as an expositor 
of saivism. But as the true advaitin that he was, who saw no differences 
in the various manifestation of the one supreme reality, his real mission 
in life, as in the case of Sri Bhagavatpada Sri Sankaracharya also, was 
the reconciliation of creeds, cults and philosophy. He was a peace¬ 
maker out for tolerence, harmony, goodwill, and mutual understanding. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita thoroughly investigated the vedas, agamas 
and puranas and brought together authoritative statements which dealt 
with Siva’s supremacy among the t/vn/ty viz., Rudra, Vishnu, and Brahma. 
His Sikharani mala, Siva tatva viveka, Sivakarnamrita, Siva mahima kali- 
kastuti, Sivadvaita nirnaya, and his magnum-opus Sivarka mani dipika, all 
belong to this category. He linked puranic ideas with Upanishadic 
thoughts and proved them to be identical. He did all this without 
resorting to strained subtleties of arguments, and without displaying any 
controversial temper, but in a spirit of calm, dispassionate search for truth. 

In defence of worship of Lord Siva 

After writing all these works, he had to take up the work of saving 
saivism from the tide of vaishnavite attacks and encroachments. 
Sri Appayya Dikshita was thus the guilding spirit of a great movement in 
which he banked upon the services of a large band of trained volunteers 
who could disseminate among the masses the philosophy and worship 
which gave supremacy to Siva, in the face of Vaishnavite onslaughts 
against it. Sri Appayya Dikshita declared with a ring of genuine 
regret that he was obliged by the circumstances of the times, to plunge 
into prolonged sectarian controversies with the Vaishnavites, while left 
to himself he would have been quite happy to have been remained a 
steady exponent of advaitic philosophy all through. His verse uttered 
in this mood is as follows: 

'O 'O ^ c\ 



^ jpTTif ^ f^OTrfoiti^^rs^ 11 

'O N5 'O 

“Whether it is Vishnu or Siva who is the supreme diety spoken 
of by the Upanishads etc., we are not very much worried about, because, 
we are definitely committed to cidvaitism. But it is impossible for one 
like me to keep quiet, when men with perverted minds proclaim in 
abusive language their hatred towards Siva—a hatred which consumes 
their hearts like a conflagration. To refute their offensive presumptions, 
I had to take up cudgels against them. But this does not in the least mean 
that I am not a devotee of Vishnu.” 

An impartial devotee: 

Sri Appayya Dikshita’s impartiality is borne out by many facts. 
He was a great admirer of Sri Vedanta Desika, and wrote a commentary 
on the Yadavabhyudaya, the only commentary so far known and published. 
He was so firm in his belief in advaita, that he had no qualms in using 
his talents to the elucidation of other different schools of thought, because 
he was so sure, that ultimate advaitic doctrine will come to be accepted 
by every one who is impartial in his outlook. Just like Adi Sankara who 
established the worship of six gods like Siva,Vishnu, Ganapathi etc., 
and was known as Shunmatha Stapanacharya, Si'i Appayya Dikshita 
also placed the greatest emphasis on utter devotion, to one’s god whoever 
he may be, before anything else. His hymn in praise of Varadaraja is 
well-known. In his Kuvalayananda he invokes the blessings of Mukunda 
at the commencement of his work. When Ramaraya at the instance of 
Doddacharya restored the worship of Govindaraja in the Chidambaram 
temple of Nataraja, Sri Appayya Dikshita welcomed with all his heart 
the event, and wrote his Harihara stuti in commemoration of it. 

In his Raihna traya pariksha, he conceded Brahmatva to Vishnu also, 
along with Isvara and Ambika, while it is well-known that the other sects, 
place Siva only in the Jivakoti. He supports his stand by ample quota¬ 
tions from the Piiranas —the Kurmapurana being not the least of them. 
His Visitnu-gauri synthesis, was not an ingenious invention of his, but 
was based on the undoubted authority of antiquity and the sanction of 
all the sacred lore. 

As a true advaitin, he did not think that tiie rival interpretations 
were entirely in the wrong for he declares : 

(who can prevent different interpretations when the sutras 
are capable of yielding different meanings). Such was his tolerance in reli¬ 
gious beliefs, and such his ardent desire for the reconciliation of philosophic 
thoughts. He wrote the Chaturmatasara to elucidate the philosophical 


bought respectively of the four prominent schools of interpreters of the 
Vyasasutras. Nayamanjari deals with advaita; the Nayamanimala with 
Srikanthamata; the Nayamayukha malika with Ramanuja’s philosophy; 
ind the Nyayamuktavali with Madhva’s philosophy. His remarkable 
catholicity of outlook and thoroughness of method, his impartiality and 
ibsence of prejudice, his unerring sense of values, and not the least of 
ill, his earnest search for the truth, shorn of all bias or pettyfogging, 
ire all evident in these writings—so much so, the Vaishnavas have adopted 
the Nayamayukha malika as a manual for their reverent study, and tlie 
Madhvas the Nyayamuktavali. It was because Sri Appayya Dikshita 
was so imbued with the glow of advaitic philosophy, that he could see 
from the heights of his philosophic enlightenment, a reconciliation and 
not mutual exclusiveness and hostility, in the different methods of 
approach to the same Reality. 

Works on Advaita Philosophy: 

After he had done his best to settle the sectarian disputes, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita turned to writing works for the elucidation and uplift 
of the advaita philosophy. His greatest and most memorable work in this 
line is Parimala which is a commentary on the Kalpataru of Amalananda. 

As is well-known, Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Adharvanaveda — 
are the four vedas. ThtNyaya, Vaiseshika, Yoga. Samkhya, Mimamsa, 
and Vedanta are the six darsanas of schools of philosophy. Tarka, 
Vyakarana, Mimamsa, and Vendanta are the four sastras. Vedanta which 
is the end or pinnacle (sruti sikhara) of the vedas is the most important of 
these. One of the noted works on this vedantic dotcrine is the advaita- 
siddhi written by Madhusudhana Saraswathi who was a resident of Bengal. 
The same author has also written another work called Siddhantha Bindu. 
This is a small book which gives in quintessence as it were the great truths 
of advaita. In this Siddhanta Bindu, the author asks himself questions 
as to why he wrote it and in reply goes on to say : “lam writing this 
Siddhanta Bindu, in order that those persons who have neither the aware¬ 
ness, nor the interest, to understand the vedantic doctrine, after studying 
it in detail, may get a glimpse of it easily.” There is a commentary 
called Brahmanadiyam written by another author from Bengal, by name 
Gaudabrahmananda on the advaitasiddhi. This same Brahmananda has 
also written a classic commentary on Siddhantabindu by name Bindutika. 
In this commentary, the author says that the Vedantasastra can be defined 
to be the sum of all the following works viz., Brahmasutra of Vedavyasa, 
the Bhashya on it by Sri Sankara, commentary on it called Bhamati by 
Vachasapati Misra, the commentary on that by name Kalpatharu by 
Amalananda, and an elaborate commentary on Kalpataru by Sri Appayya 
Diksliita called Parimala. In other words, the author says that the five 
works from the Vyasasutras to Sri Appayya Dikshita’s Parimala, consti- 



tute the corpus of the Vendantic doctrine. If scholars and sages living in 
Bengal at that time, could accept Sri Appayya Dikshita’s Pariinala as an 
authority on Sankara’s Brahmasulra bhashya and its further commentaries, 
that itself is proof positive of the greatness of the works written by 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. Sri Appayya Dikshita was induced to write this 
commentary, by Sri Nrisimhasrami an esteemed elderly contemporary, 
himself an authc' of several works on advaita. This celebrated work 
earned for Sri Appayya Dikshita the title of advaita stapanacharya. 
His Nyaya rakshamani and siddhantalesa samgraha are very popular 
Ferfanizc texts that are even now studied by students of Vedanta invariably. 
He enshrined in them rare concepts and comments on Advaita which he 
had learnt from his revered father. 

Writings on other Schools of thought: 

In addition to writing such standard works, as Nyayarakshamani, 
Parimala, Siddhantalesa sangraha etc., he has also written a book, a 
vedantic text, called Nayamanjari. It is full of sublime verses in various 
meteres or vrittas just like the vritta ratnakara. People till then 
generally used to write only about their schools of thought and not about 
others. Even if such books on other schools existed, they would be 
very anxious not to give publicity to them but to establish their own 
trends of philosophy. Sri Appayya Dikshita was an exception to this. 
Another advaitic scholar Vachaspati Misra was also a great exponent of 
it. He was the author of Bhcimati to which the Kalpataru and Parimala 
were commentaries. When Vachaspati wrote the Bhamati, Madhva 
and Ramanuja had not been born. During his time, the Yoga and Samkhya 
were very prevalent. Vaiseshika was also in vogue. Vachaspati Misra 
has written a book on the Yoga, Samkhya and Nyaya, systems which 
schools condemn the advaitic doctrine, in a manner which no follower 
of the alien school of thought could do. From this, not only is his deep 
knowledge of dialectics and outlook evident, but also his confirmed belief, 
that however much any school of thought progresses, it could never detract 
from the greatness of advaita. Inculcating real powers of reflection, even 
though on different systems, ultimately will only lead to the advaitic 
system of thought. For example, in vishishtadvaita devotion to Lord is 
said to be prominent. If devotion becomes strong, that itself leads to the 
realisation of the advaitic brahmi state. Similarly worship of Lord Siva, 
leads to deep devotion to that Lord and that Lord himself will finally reveal 
himself as the advaita level of consciousness to the devotees. Whoever be 
the Lord that is worshipped, whether Siva or Vishnu, the ultimate truth 
being what it is, every path leads only towards it. It is because of this firm 
belief, that great nrfvmV/w like Vachaspati Misra and Sri Appayya Dikshita, 
could write classic and standard works upon other systems of philosophy 
which tend to condemm the advaitic doctrine. Since great authors of 
advaita have adopted this technique, this in turn encouraged the firm 
belief that all paths will ultimately lead only to advaita. 



In his book Nyayamuktavali where he wrote about the Madhva 
school of thought, Sri Appayya Dikshita writes as follows : 

In his book of the Visishtadvita he writes as follows : 

ftitr%rrs^=r5Mt i 


In his book Sivadvaita he wrote as follows : 

In his book on Advaita he writes as follows : 




While referring to Madhvacharya, Sri Appayya Dikshita refers 
to him only by a word ananda tirtha. While referring to Ramanuja- 
charya, he adds the word arya as a term of respect to that Saint. 
About Srikanthacharya, he adds the word acluirya to the word 
Srikantha. But while referring to Sri Sankara he refers to him only a 
acharyapada and not by name. While referring to the Madhva 
doctrine, he says that he is writing that work following the teachings of 
Anandatirtha ; while referring to Ramanuja, he says that he is writing the 
work in consonance with the hridaya of Lakshmanacharya or following 
the teachings of Sriramanuja; while referring to Srikanthacharya he says 
that he is writing that work following the paths as seen by 
Srikanthacharya; but while referring about the advaita matha of 
Sri Sankara, he says that for self illumination or atmabodha, i.e., self 
knowledge or atmajnana, he is writing the essence of Vyasa the 
author of Brahmasutras as stated by Sri Sankara. 

From the above, it is clear, that Sri Appayya Dikshita firmly 
belived that the doctrine as taught in the Brahmasutras of Sri Veda Vyasa 
was the advaita doctrine preached by Sri Adi Sankara in his bhashya. 

First he starts with thinking of Anandatirtha; next he goes to the 
devotion of.Ramanuja; and thirdly he ascends the steps shown by 
Srikanthacharya; and lastly for his own self knowledge and realisation 
of truth, he writes about the Brahmasutra of Vyasa as explained by 
Sri Sankara. 



If a question is raised as to why so many paths are needed, and 
if not one path is enough for the ultimate truth, Sri Appayya Dikshita 
himself gives the following explanation to it : 



^ NS 

Trr^^^iTld'mFi'dl t: WR fJTrW^qK 

The above verse implies that other commentators being Madhva- 
charya, Ramanujacharya, and Srikanthacharya have all enjoined the 
worship of the Supreme Lord with ardent devotion in order to obtain the 
grace of their Sagunabrahma. This upasema leads to certain predetermined 
results, as for example from one we can reach Vaikuntha; from another 
we can reach Kailasa, from devopasana, we can reach the Manidveepa 
etc. The word used of the above verse shows that 

Sagunopasam worship leads to predetermined results. It is for this 
very purpose that various commentaries have been written. But all 
the great rivers >H+^I, 3rn^Tf%^ lead ultimately to the same 

ocean. In a similar manner all the results of this Saguna worship 
ultimately ends in the great ananda sindhu or advaitic bliss. In the 
acharya bhashya it is the evershining illimitable advaitic bliss that 
reigns supreme. Without it there is no peace and hence Sri Appayya 
Dikshita says that everyone should bow in his heart of hearts to the great 
acharya. He therefore says and concludes that all the bhashyas and 
commentaries ultimately end only in this and the acharya bhashya is the 
final end of all the bhashyas, like the ocean being the final end of the all 
rivers. No other writer of sastras has clearly and unambiguously laid 
down the supremacy of the advaitic tenets as explained by Sri Sankara 
as Sri A^ ya Dikshita has done. 

Bhamati Pru..,nana and Vivarana Prasthana: 

In the Siddantalesa Sangraha, Sri Appayya Dikshita admits of a 
systematic exposition of the chief doctrines on eternal differences among 
the various schools of advaita vedanta prevalent then. In the evolution 
of the advaita doctrine two main currents are noticeable, the one repre¬ 
sented by the great Vachaspati Misra called Bhamati Prasthana and the 
other represented by Padmapada and Prakasatma called the Vivarana 

The esseirtial features of the Bhamati Prasthana is adoption of the 
nana-Jiva-vada and avachhedavada, while the essential feature of the 
Vivarana Prasthana is the adoption of the Eka-jiva-vada and Bimba- 
pratibimbavada. Chitsukha of 14th Century and following him Bharati 



Tirtha of 14th Century admitted the reconciliation between the Bhamati 
and Vivarana schools while Pmkasananda of the 14th century developed 
the Eka-jiva-vada in a radical form. The important implications of the 
differences of these two prasthanas are as follows : 

According to nana-jiva-vada, there is a plurality of Jivas who are 
either conditioned by or reflected in a plurality of ignorances. These 
ignorances may be considered a less pure form of nescience, being 
consequently distinguished therefrom, or these alone may be recognised 
as nescience, no single nescience being recognised as distinct from these. 
Isvara, on one variety of the reflection theory, would be the prototype 
of which the Jivas are the reflections; and on another variety, Isvara 
himself would be a reflection of pure consciousness in the relatively pure 
Maya, while the Jivas would be reflections of pure consciousness in the 
relatively Impure Avidyas. 

According to the avachedavada, Isvara is related to the Jivas as 
the content of ignorances which are located in the Jivas. Each Jiva is 
ignorant of perfection. Ignorance is thus located in the Jiva but has 
for content Isvara i.e. Perfection. 

According to the Eka-jiva-vada, ignorance is located in Brahman 
and has Brahman itself, for content. Brahman itself through its own 
nescience, seems to transmigrate. Because of this unity in respect of locus 
and the content of Avidya, which is also one, there can be only one Jiva. 
This Jiva imagines the distinctions between bondage and release, between 
itself and other Jivas, which are supposed to exist, as also between 
itself and an imaginary perfect Being, namely Isvara. The whole empi¬ 
rical world is in no better position than a dream projection of this sole 

• According to the biniba-pratibimha-vada the Jiva whether one or 
many, is essentially a reflection, whether of pure consciousness (Brahman) 
or of Isvara. In the less radical form of the eka-jiva-vada, there is room 
made for Isvara too as a prototype, and this is the view favoured by the 
author of the Vivarana. 

These were the several views current in the beginning of the six¬ 
teenth century. Appayya Dikshita set himself to the task of expounding 
in detail all the minor differences, existing among the various schools of 
advaita, as a preliminary towards his mastery of the principles of advaita 
vedanta and we have his Siddhantalesa sangraha as a result. 

A survey of the several authors and works quoted by Appayya 
Dikshita in his Siddhantalesa sangraha gives us a birds-eye-view of the 
development of the advaita vedanta from the time of Sankara to the 
time of Appayya Dikshita. 



The names of authors in their chronological order, quoted by 
Appayya Dikshita in the first chapter of his work is given below : 

9th Century 

1. Padmapada, SLUthor o[ Panchapadika P. 1 

2. Suresvara, author of Briluidvarttika and Naishkannya- 

siddhi 122 

3. Sarvajnatma muni, author of Samkshepasariraka 41 

4. Vachaspati misra, author of Bhamati 62 

10th Century 

5. Vimuktatman, author of Ishfasiddhi 

6. Anandanubhava, author of Padartha tattva nirnaya 97 

11th Century 

7. Prakasatman, author of Vivarana 32 

12th Century 

8. Prakatarthakara, author of Prakatartha vivarana 11 

13 th Century 

9. Amalananda, author of Kalpataru 

10. Ramadvayacharya, author of Vedanta Kaumudi 68 

11. Akhandananda, author of Tattvadipana 

12. Cliitsukha, author of Tattvapradipika 260 

14th Century 

13. Bharatitirlha (Vidyaranya)'dxithoT of Panchadasi 114 

and Brahmananda 126 

14. Narayana Sarasvati, author of Varttika on Sankara 

Bhashya (171) 44 

15. Narasimhabhattopadhyaya 310 

16. Prakasananda, author of Siddhanlamuktavali 107 

15th Century 

17. Anandapurnamunindra alias Vidyasagara, author 

of Nyayachandrika 233 

18. Advaitavidyacharya (Rangarajadhvari) 275 

19. Tattvaviveka 110 

20. Drigdrisyaviveka 137 



Siddhanta Lesa Sangraha 

The topics dealt with in the first chapter of the Siddhanta lesa 
sangraha may be roughly divided under five heads : 

1. The discussion as to whether there is an injunction in respect 
of Vedanta study and if so, of what kind; 

2. The definition of Brahman and the discussion as to which is 
the material cause, pure Brahman, Jsvara, Jiva as Maya, or any combina¬ 
tion of these, together with incidental discussions of (a) the relation 
between the Jiva and Isvara (b) the various forms of non-absolute 
intelligence (c) the unity or multiplicity of Nescience; 

3. Consideration of the nature of Brahman's agency; 

4. Ways of intelligibly conceiving Brahmans Omniscience; 

5. The need for psychoses; three possible views of its utility as 
(a) effecting a relation with the object; as (b) manifesting non-difference 
from object-defined-intelligence; as (c) destroying the ignorance veiling 
the Jiva; detailed consideration of these modes; the distinction between 
primal ignorance and model ignorances; the function of the second and 
subsequent cognitions in a continuous stream of cognition ; the 
nature of the witness-intelligenee and its mainfestation; discussion as 
to whether bliss is manifested while in bondage; and a discussion of the 
number and nature of the psychoses in a delusive experience such as 
‘this is silver The ehapter ends with the statement that nondualism 
is the purport of the entire Scripture, thus leading on to a discussion of 
this topic in the succeeding chapters. 

One can ask how there could be contradictory views about the 
advaita on the same point. Sri Appayya Dikshita gives a powerful 
answer. All the Acharyas agreed in the ultimate unity of the soul, and 
with the unreality of the phenomenal world. For the world of fiction, 
different explanations are given, according to the ingenuity of each 
acharya. What if different meanings and explanations are given for a 
mere fiction ! 

Nyaya rakshamani; 

The Nyaya rakshamani is another standard exposition of the 
advaitic interpretation of the first Adhyaya of the Brahmasutras. It is 
a clear and elaborate exposition of the meanings of the Sutras. The 
book contains great and original arguments both for the purvapaksha 
and siddanta under each adhikarana. In the Anandamayadhikarana 
his arguments are scintillatingly brilliant. 

Devotion leading to Advaita; 

Advaitism was imbibed by Sri Appayya Dikshita from his infancy 
and was accepted by him as the true philosophy of his life. His father 



and grandfather firmly believed in it, although they died when Sri Appayya 
Dikshita was fairly young. Sri Appayya Dikshita had been taught 
impressively the religion of Sri Sankara. It is an important tenet of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, that Bhakti of Iswara leads to the realisation 
of the Nirguna Brahma. At the very opening of Sivatatva Viveka, Sri 
Appayya Dikshita says that the unconditioned Brahma propounded by 
Upanishads is beyond description, by way of praise, and that he therefore 
composed the Sikharinimala in praise of Lord Siva the conditioned 
Brahma. In the opening of the Sivarka mani dipika he says : 
“ Although the Upanishads and the Agamas along with Puranas, ilie 
Smriti and Ithihasas like Mahahlwrata are centred in Advaita alone, 
although the Brahamasutras also convey the same idea, though advita 
was the religion accepted and impressed by the great teachers of old like 
Sri Sankara, still an inclination for advaita is produced only by the grace 
of Lord Siva and by that alone. ” 

By conviction Sri Appayya Dikshita was an advaitin and accepted 
it with his intellect, whereas true worship of Lord Siva was the religion of 
his heart. He had not the slightest tinge of hatred for Vishnu. On the 
contrary, he fully sympathised with the worship of Vishnu and was 
himself a great devotee of Vishnu. He saw no difference between 
Siva and Vishnu who are different forms of Sagimabrahma but his heart 
leaned heavily towards Lord Siva. A frank confession was made of 
his bias in the famous verse ending with the line “ tadapi bhakti 
thanmendu sekhare ”. 

Sivadvaitin : 

As between Sivadvaita and Advaita it is not easy to determine if 
at all Sri Appayya Dikshita was more inclined to one view or the other. 
Both claim him as their great champion and no doubt for good reasons. 
Yet several of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s statements in unmistakable terms 
reveal Sri Appayya Dikshita as a great advaitin. To him from any 
school to the arfra/t/c school of Sri Sankara, was only a progression in 
philosophical thought. From the heights of his philosophical enlighten¬ 
ment, Sri Appayya Dikshita saw in the different methods of approach, 
elements lending themselves to a reconciliation, and not to mutual 
exclusiveness and hostility. He therefore pondered over the reconcilia¬ 
tion of rival schools of thought of not only of Srikanthamatha but also of 
Visishtadvaita and Dvaita and could spread the message of tolerance and 

Sri Appayya Dikshita’s name and fame can rest for ever on any 
one of his works, but his writings are innumerable. He had been 
described as the author of one hundred and four works— Chaturadhika 
sataprabandhakarta. Though many of his writings have not been 
recovered, the more important of them have been preserved to us and 


the majority of these that survive have been brought out in print in 
Grantha, Nagari and Telugu characters. 

It is in the fitness of things that Sri Appayya Dikshita should have 
spent his last days at Chidambaram, where he is said to have left his body 
and vanished into the image of Sri Nataraja. Sri Appayya Dikshita 
was held in high esteem and reverential awe not only by his followers 
but even by his religious adversaries. He was regarded even in his own 
time as an avatarapurusha and hence it is that legends and traditional 
accounts have grown around his life. 

A Heroic Figure: 

The greatness of Sri Appayya Dikshita rests on the fact that the 
great advaitin that he was, his mission in life was one of reconciliation 
of warring groups, so as to promulgate mutual tolerance and 
goodwill amongst all. He was born in a very hot age of bigotry 
and vigorous proselytism. Though the greatest saints did not 
discriminate between Lord Siva and Vishnu, and declared them identical, 
the adherents of the creeds were mostly cantankerous persons and 
mistook acrimony for devotion. It was in this dark atmosphere that 
Sri Appayya Dikshita rose to such heights of fame that the great savant 
tried to reconcile all the warring camps, and saved saivism which was 
confronted with utter annihilation against the powerful onslaughts of 
Vaishnavism. He brought to bear on his widespread activities, his 
resourceful and versatile personality and tried his best to constitute an 
atmosphere of spiritual tol6rance and goodwill, in the place of the 
prevailing antipathy and narrow-mindedness. The fact that we to-day 
life in an atmosphere of goodwill and devotion to both Siva and Vishnu, 
is thus due to the untiring work of reconciliation started by Sri Appayya 
Dikshita. Thus Sri Appayya Dikshita did the greatest service to the 
doctrine of Advaita. To the students of that school of thought, anyone 
of his great works would have been enough as a fitting monument for a 
life’s work. The fact that he could write more than 104 standard works 
of various branches of learning show that Sri Appayya Dikshita had a 
mind of very fine penetration and profound spirituality. His writings 
are packed with serious and subtle thinking, and as a worthy successor 
to Sri Sankara, he stands out as a great advaitic acharya and of Siva 
worship, a heroic figure of the first rank in the rather motley crowd of 
religious thinkers and teachers of the 15th and 16th century A.D. 

Chapter XIV 

(i) Sri Appayya Dikshita's 104 works : 

Sri Appayya Dikshita is known to have had the title of 
“ fd ^ : ”• This title or biruda shows that he 

had written 104 works. His talented and renowned grandson 
Sri Nilakantha Dikshita, who was himself a great poet and writer, has 
also written in the foEowing glowing words in his Kavya, about his 
ancestor Sri Appayya Dikshita “ : illdd'4 ; ?Trf 

” etc. 

In the Adayapalam epigraph which has been mentioned above also, 
it is stated in Tamil that Sri Appayya Dikshita has written 100 
prabhandhas, as following:—nuru prabandangal iyatrina 

In the biography of Sri Vijayendra Bhikshu, who was a great 
Madhvacharya, it is stated that in competition with Sri Appayya Dikshita 
he had written also 104 works. From this also, it can be inferred that 
Sri Appayya Dikshita himself had written 104 works. 

In this voluminous output of literature are contained great and 
thought provoking treatises like the Parimala, the Sivarka mani dipika etc., 
which are standard treatises on the subjects with which they deal. There 
are also very small works like Pancharathana Stuti, Marga Bandhu Stuti 
etc. Some of the works are commentaries or Vyakhyanas of his own 
compositions. Sri Appayya Dikshita is a rare writer, who has written 
a number of works, consisting both of original treatises and his own 
commentaries upon them. 

Sri Nilakantha Dikshitha, grandson of Sri Appayya Dikshita, 
praised the latter as follows : 


JiFT f7r<s5nnPT ^ ; 

Though Sri Appayya Dikshita was a great Simbhakta who wrote 
a number of Saiva Sastra works, he had no hatred to other schools of 
thought. He has described Siva, Vishnu and Ambika as the three gems 
or Ratna Traya. He compares the dvaita, visistadvuita, sivadvaita, and 
advaita as forms of different steps leading to the same goal. He had a 
firm belief that all schools of thought ultimately led only to the supreme 
advaitic doctrine of Sankara. Since he has written many works about 
all these four systems of thought, some might get confused as to what he 



really believes in. Hence Sri Appayya Dikshita himself says in Sivarka 
mani clipika that he is a follower of advaita only. 

ir^ 5-iRTfwia-<rtRmiJHMi ^ 

?ff; <^^RiK^rrf? : 

SR’TTlRT^Rr^TTf'r Sl^^l^'W^'l II 

In the beginning of the work Chaturmata Sara Sangraha also, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita calls himself as an advaitin only : 

This verse also by implication means that he was a follower of 
advaita only. 

It will take several years of hard labour and toil for one to read 
and master some of these voluminous standard treatises on basic subjects 
written by Sri Appayya Dikshita. Even these can be attempted only 
by profound scholars, who have had very good grounding in the knowledge 
of the sastras that the works expound. As against this, some of his 
smaller works are such, that even children can read and benefit by them. 
Some of the stutis or devotional verses written by him can be studied 
daily with devotion and veneration. 

Some writers have stated that though Sri Appayya Dikshita is 
said to have written as many as 104 works, still, the total is made up of 
many sundry items, including very small works and commentaries. 
This is a very superficial and ununderstanding criticism of the greatness 
of the literary output of Sri Appayya Dikshita. It is no doubt true that 
for the sake of counting, the total works come upto 104 including all 
his big and small works. But the author’s greatness is to be gauged not 
by the number of works that he has written, but by the depth and pro¬ 
fundity of his thought. That this criticism is an absurd one, will be 
clear to anyone who has had even a glimpse of the genius of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita in his works of Vedanta and mimamsa. 

There are some further uninformed criticisms that Sri Appayya 
Dikshita has merely written some commentaries etc., based upon other 
ancient works and that he has not written original independent works 
of his own. Thus for example, Sri Das Gupta in his History of Philosophy 
Vol. II writes as follows : 

“ He was a great scholar, well read in many branches of Sanskrit 
learning and wrote a large number of works on many subjects. There 
is however nothing very noteworthy in his vedantic doctrine. For, in 



spite of his scholarship he was only a good compiler and not an original 
thinker, and on many occasions where he had many opportunities of 
giving original views, he contents himself with the views of others.” 

People who have even a passing acquaintance with Sri Appayya 
Dikshita’s works will not entertain any such doubts. It must also be 
remembered that in our country, unlike in the West, ail writers always 
proceed to build up their cases on the unassailable authority and authenti¬ 
city of the Sruli and the Smriti. Every philosopher belonging to any 
school of thought bases his argument on the basic assumption that the 
Sruti and the Smriti always act like pole stars guiding everyone in his 
path. Thus in our country, it is only on the firm foundation of the 
authority of the Sruti and the Smriti, that further arguments are built up, 
and systems of philosophy developed. It would therefore, be a most 
inappropriate and in fact an extremely ignorant criticism, to say ihal 
Sri Appayya Dikshita wrote merely on the foundation of older works. 
In the history of Indian philosophical thinking every worthwhile philoso¬ 
pher has always written on the basis of the foundations of the Sruti and 
the Smriti only. This is a basic difference in developing any philosophical 
theme through discussions and written works between India and the West. 
It is therefore good to remembej' this fact before we try to assess the genius 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

All the 104 works of Appayya Dikshita are now not current. Only 
about 60 of them are well-known. The other 44 are only known by their 
names. A biief resume of the known works of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
is attempted below ; 

(/■/■) Vedatuic Works: 

1. Sidclanta Lesa Sangraha : This work is a very elaborate 
and original treatise written by Sri Appayya Dikshita wherein he has 
gathered and brought together in one place, all different dialectical thinking 
belonging to the admitic cult. Traditional scholars and students of 
Vedanta have a rule that they would start reading the Bhashya only after 
they finish the Siddanta Lesa Sangraha. In view of this, this work is 
very much current among scholars and students. 

In this work, Sri Appayya Dikshita has extracted all the different 
views of the different writers on advaita on all controversial points. The 
advaita acharyas differ on such points as ekajiva-vada, nanajiva-vada, 
bimba pratibimba vada, or avichchinna vada, sakshitva vada etc. Dikshita 
clearly states all the different views on each subject and discusses them. 
How can there be contradictory views among the advaita acharyas them¬ 
selves on the same point? Dikshita gives a beautiful answer. All the 
acharyas agree in affirming the unity of the soul and the unreality of the 
phenomenal world. For the world of fiction different explanations are 
given according to the ingenuity of each acharya. What if different 
explanations are given for a mere fiction? 




2. Nyaya Rakshamani: This is an elaborate and independent 
commentary, on the first pada of the Brahmasutras, which deals with 
the science of ‘self’ and the ‘universe’. This is also a very well-known 
treatise of Sri Appayya Dikshita on the advaitic philosophy and is one of 
the standard works with which his name is generally associated. 

The Nyaya Rakshamani is a splendid exposition of the advaitic 
interpretation of the first adhyaya of the Brahmasutras. It is a clear and 
an elaborate exposition of the meaning of the sutras. The book contains 
a great many original arguments both for the purvapaksha and the 
siddhanta under each adhikarana. 

3. Kalpataruparimala: Bhagavadpada Adi Sri Sankaracharya 
wrote a classic commentary on the Brahmasutras of Badarayana. For 
this commentary or Bhashya of Sri Sankara, a great advaitic teacher, by 
name Sri Vachaspati Misra wrote another commentary called Bhamati. 
For this work Bhamati, another subsequent advaitic teacher by name 
Amalananda wrote an abstruse and difficult commentary called kalpataru. 
Thekalpataru is an extremely difficult piece of work which would require 
extensive scholarship to understand. For this work kalpataru, Sri 
Appayya Dikshita wrote an extensive and easily understandable detailed 
commentary called the Parimala. 

Before writing his Vyakyana Parimala, which expounds the 
advaitic doctrine, Sri Appayya Dikshita himself must have finished 
writing another Vyakhyana for the Sivarka mani dipika. This work is an 
elaborate commentary on the Brahmasutras written from the point of 
view of Siva Visistadvaita. 

Tradition has it, that a great writer by name Sri Nrisimhasvami, 
who was a contemporary of Sri Appayya Dikshita and who had himself 
written a number of works on advaitic philosophy, once prevailed upon 
Sri Appayya Dikshita to write a commentary on the Brahmasutras, 
from the point of view of the advaita doctrine. He is stated to have remind¬ 
ed Sri Appayya Dikshita, that it was the great advaitic doctrine that was 
taught to him as a family tradition from generation to generation and 
that he should not forget to render service to it. It is stated that Sri 
Appayya Dikshita wrote the Parimala after taking to heart the advice 
given by Sri Nrisimhasvami. His own foreword to his work in the 
following words makes this clear. 

trefwrfenvf PqfHcfttfq ^ ^Slrr 511#: I 

•o i 

sRvrrar ii 

“When the great secrets of advaitic doctrine taught to me by my father, 
are awaiting compilation as a great treatise and work, and when I had 
forgotten them all, some elders reminded me of my obligation and duty 



and being awakened by them, I, in a spirit of humble dedication accepted 
that obligation and started writing this commentary on Kalpatam, after 
praying to Lord Parameswara for help.” 

Sri Appayya Dikshita himself says the following about his own 
work ; “What can I give to Kalpataru which is the giver of all desires? 
I will accept from it and then rededicate to it whatever is given to me.” 
Similarly, in another place he says, “As and when seholars and philo¬ 
sophers delve deep into the Kalpataru, newer and brighter vistas of 
learning are opened before them. Just as a man who dives into the sea is 
able to gather only a few gems, and brings them out, so have I gathered 
only a handful of meanings out of this Kalpataru. Let all future scholars 
be satisfied with this small service.” 

At the end of his Vyakhyana on the first pada of the Brahmasutras, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita praises lavishly the greatness of his own father and 
has written a famous verse in that context. He says in it, that it was due 
to the blessings of his father that he was enabled to write the com¬ 
mentary. From this, it is very clear that Sri Appayya Dikshita had his 
schooling in Vedanta under his own father, and that he learned all that 
he wrote in Parimala from the teachings of his own father. 

A contemporary poet of Sri Appayya Dikshita, Sri Mullandram 
Balakavi who was himself a very famous writer praises the Parimala 
in the following verses : 

“Oh Appayya Dikshita! How can I describe your generosity? Even 
the Kalpataru which is so well-known for granting desires to everyone, 
is awaiting your pleasure to explain its real meaning.” In this verse, the 
poet makes a pun on the word ‘artha’ which means both money and 

In the Dikshita Vamsabharana by Mannargudi Sri Raju Sastrigal, 
it is stated that another great scholar praised Kalpataru Vyakhyana 
in the following verse : 

“ Lord Krishna brought Kalpataru from the heavens to the earth, in order 
to satisfy the desire of Satyabhama. Sri Appayya Dikshita by writing 



a commentary on it has established it firmly in the world. There is, 
howevet, just one difference, and that is, that what Lord Krishna did was 
full of doubts whereas what Sri Appayya Dikshita did is crystal clear, 
and without any doubts, and in a manner by which the truths of the 
sastras would be made clear beyond doubt.” (There is a pun on the 
world ‘ dvapara ’ which also means doubts. Lord Krishna’s bringing 
the Kalpataru in the dvapara yuga is therefore made to mean that what 
Lord Krishna did was full of doubts). 

Sri K. V. Subrahmanya Sastri another biographer in Sanskrit of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita is of the opinion that the above verse was 
written by Sri Govinda Dikshita the well-known Prime Minister of 
the Nayak Kings of Madura. Perhaps tradition has it that way. 

From the Brahmasutras of Badarayana upto the parimala of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita all the five works viz., Brahmasutras, Sankara’s 
Bhashya, Vachaspati Misra’s Bhamati, Amalananda’s Kalpataru and 
Sri Appayya Dikshita’s Parimala are called the ‘ Panchagranthi ’ or the 
five connected works on which the edifice of advaita rests. Parimala 
is like the very life breath of the great advaita vedanta. All these five 
works have been published by the Nirnayasagar Press. 

There are only very few scholars who have mastered the advaitic 
doctrine from the Badarayana Brahmasutras to Sri Appayya Dikshita’s 

4 and 5. Madhva Tantra Mukha Mardana and its commentary 
Madhva Mata Vidhvamsana : Both these works were written in con¬ 
demnation of the dvaita doctrine of the Madhvas. These two works 
are now generally prevalent both in the North and in the South. In 
some of the advaitic seminars these two works are generally given as a 
test of one’s di.alectical skill. 

6. Purvottara Mimamsa Vada Nakshtra Mala or Nakshatra Vada- 
vcdi: This work contains a mighty dissertation of some of the problems 
in Mimamsa Vedanta Sastras. The questions and answers given here 
are intended to explain and make clear the basic truths of the two Mimosa 
Sastras. These have never been clearly written anywhere else. But 
Sri Appayya Dikshita states that the tenets contained in them have been 
accepted as the basis for the truths of the Bhashya in the following verse: 


This work has been published from Srirangam. 



7, 8, 9 and 10. Chatur Mata Sara Sangraha : This is also called 
as Adhikarana Sara Sangraha and Adhikarana Mala. The following 
verse written in the beginning of this makes it clear that the work was 
written during the reign of Chinna Bomma of Velur : 

This work contains, in epitome in four sections, the four schools 
of Vedanta - the Dvaita, the Visishtadvaita, the Sivadvaita, and the 
Advaita. The work is in the form of a running commentary in prose and 
verse on the Brahmasutras of Badarayana, treated topically under the 
several adhikaranas. In this work Sri Appayya Dikshita interprets each 
school of verfanto according to the most ardent expounder of the school. 
In some places, the work is also called as Adhikaharana Sara Sangraha. 
Each of the sections of the Chaturmata Sara Sangraha is known by an 
individualistic name also. The section on dvaita is termed Nyaya muktavali 
and was first published in Belgaiim. The second section is on Ramanuja’s 
system and is called Naya mayukha malika. It was published in Kumba- 
konam in 1915. The third section is on Srikanta’s system and is called 
Nayamani Mala. It was published by Sri Halasyanatha Sastry, from 
Kumbakonam in 1908. The fourth section is an exposition of Sankara’s 
Advaita system and is called Nayamanjari. This was published in 1941 
from a single manuscript belonging to the Tanjore Saraswati Mahal 

The three systems of philosophical thinking that are mentioned 
in this work are as follows : 

(i) The 1st is the Madhvamata. This is propagated by a 
commentary on the Brahmasutras from the stand point of 
Dvaita Siddhanta. This is also known as Nyaya Muktavali. 

(ii) The second is the Visistadvaita of Sri Ramanuja. This 
is propagated by a commentary on the Brahmasutras from the 
stand point of Visistadvaita. This work is known by Naya 
Mayukha Malika. 

Though Sri Appayya Dikshita has condemned in no uncer¬ 
tain terms both these systems in his Madhva Tantra Mukha 
Mardhana and Ramanuja Sringa Bhanga, still, the fact that 
he has written great classic commentaries of these two systems, 
following their own terminology and arguments so that the 
followers of those schools can understand it easily, is itself proof 
positive, of the catholicity of outlook and the complete lack of 
any sectarian animosity on the part of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 
The fact that both the Madhvas -and Vaishnavas are still 
printing and reading with devotion the above two works is also 



proof positive of the complete impartiality and adherence to 
truth with which Sri Appayya Dikshita wrote these works. 

(Hi) and (iv) : The next two philosophical systems with 
which [Sri Appayya Dikshita deals with are Sivadvaita and 
Advaita. Since Sri Appayya Dikshita has already elaborately 
written about these in his Sivarka mani dipika, Parimala, 
Sivadvaita nirnaya, Nyaya raksha mani etc., in the present 
work, viz., Chaturmata sara sangraha he refers to them only 
in a very brief manner. Sri Appayya Dikshita refers to 
Srikantha mata in his ‘ Nayamani mala’ and Advaita in his 
Nayamanjari in the adhikarana. 

Nayamani mala and Sivarka mani dipika have both been published 
by Sri Halasyanatha Sastry. The Nayamanjari has been published in 
Madras in 1941. This is made up of a number of verses composed in 
very difficult vrittas. This may be called as a veritable Sastra on the 
science of composing verses in abstruse vrittas. Many new vrittas with 
new names have been handled in this. Many abstruse philosophical 
thoughts and principles have been brought out clearly in practically 
unknown vrittas in Sanskrit by Sri Appayya Dikshita in this. The work 
is composed fully in verse, each adhikarana of the Brahmasutra being 
represented by at least two slokas, one putting forth the Purvapaksha and 
the other the Siddhanta. The most distinguishing mark of this lies in 
the fact that 380 stanzas of this verse are composed in more than 182 
metres, many of which are rare and not easily met with even in standard 

11 and 12. Ramanuja Sringa Bhanga and Tatva Mudra Vidravanam : 
These two works are written in condemnation of the philosophy of Sri 
Ramanuja and the Madhvas. It does not appear as if these two works 
have upto now been printed. 

From the sixth verse in Sri Dikshita Nava Rathna Malika it is 
seen that Sri Appayya Dikshita did not write the condemnation of 
Sri Ramanuja’s philosophy. The Tatvamudra or the practice of 
branding oneself is common to both the followers of Madhva and 
Ramanuja’s cults of thought. 

Though these two works have been included in the old list of 
works compiled by Sri Appayya Dikshita still, the authenticity about 
the authorship is not free from doubt. 

The other vedantic works which are generally attributed to Sri 
Appayya Dikshita are the following : 

13. Ramanuja Tatparya Sangraha 

14. Commentary on item (13) 

15. Sri Vidya tatva vivaranam 

16. Adhikaranamala 



17. Adhikarana Saravali 

18. Tatva muktavali 

19. Nyaya ratnamala 

20. Comentary on item (19) 

21. Mata sarartha sangraha 

22. Siddhanta ratnakara 

23. Manimalika 

24. Nyayamuktavali vyakhya 

25. Adhikarana panchika. 

(Hi) Sivadvaita Works : 

26 and 27. Sikharini Mala and its Commentary Siva Tatva Viveka : 
These and the other saivite works of Sri Appayya Dikshita were all 
intended to propagate Sivadvaita doctrine. They were mainly written to 
highlight the great qualities of Lord Siva. They were written at a time 
when polemical warfare between the Vaishnavas and the Saivites in the 
Vijayanagar days, was rampant and these works were intended to support 
the saivite doctrine. 

During the days of Sri Appayya Dikshita the Vaishnava Acharyas 
were propagating Vaishnavism along with the help of the ruling king and 
sometimes through force also. The greatest person behind this movement 
was Sri Tatacharya. This became possible because the royal regent 
Ramaraya who came to effective power after Sri Krishnadevaraya gave a 
great deal of support to the Rajaguru. 

The Sikharinimala is a work in Sanskrit containing 60 verses in 
Sikharini vritta. The work seeks to propagate the greatness of Sivabhakti 
and also enlightens us about the supreme power of Lord Siva. In the 
introduction to Siva Tatva Viveka Sri Appayya Dikshita himself says 
the following ; 

c O c c > 

“In these 60 verses, I have praised Lord Pasupati who is the 
inner soul of the entire Universe. These verses are full of very interesting 
inner meanings. They are also quite powerful to strike down the mouths 
of those critics who go about insulting Lord Siva and his worship. 
The verses closely follow also the great principles that have been tradi¬ 
tionally followed by elders from ancient times. I am writing this 
commentary or vyakhyana in order to make known in an elaborate 
manner their inner meanings, which is based upon the authority of the 
Sruti and the Pur anas." 

The above work and its translation is available in print. 



Another great scholar who was the son of Adivarahacharya 
wrote another book called Vedanta Kausthuba condemning the principle 
adumbrated in the Siva Tatva Viveka. Mannargudi Sri Raju Sastrigal, 
an illustrious scion in the line of Sri Appayya Dikshita has written a 
book called “Siva Tatva Viveka Dipika” condemning the above critical 
work Vedanta Kausthubha. This work is still not in print. 

The Siva Tatva Viveka is an elaborate attempt to establish that 
Siva is the Lord of the Universe. For the Saiva cult no book has done 
more service than the Siva Tatva Viveka. Even from a purely intellectual 
point of view, the book will not fail to receive the admiration of all 
impartial scholars. 

28, 29, 30 and 31. Ramayana tatparya sangraha, Bharata tatparya 
sangraha and their commentaries: These works called Ramayana 
tatparya Sangraha, Bharata tatparya sangraha and the two commentaries 
on the same by Sri Appayya Dikshita are, as their names indicate, works 
on the two great classics and profess to expound their inner meanings. 

These two works and their commentaries are based on the 
asumption that in both the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, 
it is only the greatness of Lord Siva that is being propagated. The 
Vaishnavas consider the Ramayana as a supreme work extolling this 
greatness of Prapatti or Surrender. In this work, the above view point is 
refuted. Sri Appayya Dikshita tries to establish that Vibhishana who 
is generally held to be the symbol for surrender or Saranagati to the 
Lord does so only on account of his desire to regain his kingdom and 
not on account of any desire for salvation. 

In the same manner, Sri Appayya Dikshita also proves with a 
great deal of authority that in the Mahabharata also Bhagavan Sri Vyasa 
tries to prove that Sri Lord Siva only is the supreme reality. He also 
explains that in both the Bhagavat Gita and the Anugita also, it is only 
the greatness and supremacy of Lord Siva that is explained in detail. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita did not attempt to establish the greatness of 
Lord Siva one of the Trimurthis. He praises the supreme Parasiva. It 
is this same principle which advaitins call as Saguna Brahma or Iswara 
with the principle of Maya. It is only following this trend of thought 
that in his work on the Ramayana Sri Appayya Dikshita closes it with 
the remark that the supremacy of the same eternal principle or parasiva 
which is described as Parabrahma, in Kaivalyopanishad, and Svetasvatano- 
panishad is sought to be established by Valmiki in his Ramayana. 



32 and 33. Brahma Tarkastava and its commentary : In these two 
works suitable replies have been given to the arguments advanced by 
those who were condemning Lord Siva and his worship. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita established in these works with the help of a number of 
arguments and a number of interesting technical debating points and on 
the basis of a dialectical analysis of the evidence of the Puranas that 
Lord Siva is supreme and is the Parabrahma. He also shows in these 
works the difference between Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva. 

All the works numbered 15 to 20 above have been published in 

34. Sivadhyana Paddhati: In this work, a description as to 
how Puja to Lord Siva should be perfornj'd mentally has been described 
in very great detail. The original work alone, without any commentary 
has been published a long time ago in Grantha characters. 

35. Siva Puja Vidhi: As the title indicates, this work deals with 
the technique of worship of Lord Siva. This is a fairly well-known work 
and has also been published in print. 

36. Sivarchana Chandrika: This work also deals with the 
worship of Lord Siva and there is a commentary on it also. Tradition 
has it that this work was written by Sri Appayya Dikshita in order to teach 
his royal patron King Chinna Bomma of Vellore the greatness and the 
method of worshipping of Lord Siva. It is not known whether this work 
has been printed or not. 

37. Sivakarnamruta : This is a work written in prose with the 
idea of reestablishing the superior greatness of Lord Siva. The contents 
of this work are summarised in the following verse : 

snrif^: II 

“ Since the summer heat of the evil minded critics of Lord Siva and his 
worship are awaiting in order to burn out and destory the sprouts of 
Siva Bhakti or devotion that arises in the minds of the devotees, for which 
the seed is their accumulated merit in their previous births, this work 
Sivakarnamruta w'ilh its verses made, as it were, of nectar, is written lo 
help rejuvenate those sprouts.” 

This work comprises of two parts, viz., the arguments against the 
thesis sought to be proved traditionally called the Purvapaksha and the 
replies thereto traditionally called the Samadhana. The work has been 
written in the manner of sastra vakyartha, which is very common in the 
traditional method of theological disputation. 

This work has been published several decades ago in the old 
grantha characters. 



38. Sri Sivarka mani dipika: Srikantacharya wrote a great 
commentary on the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana, seeking to derive 
from it the sivadvaita doctrine. It is generally believed that Srikanta 
lived after Sri Sankara and before Sri Ramanuja. The present work of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita is an elaborate commentary on the Srikanta bhashya. 

The Srikanta doctrine is generally called also as the Saiva 
visishtadvaita. There is a close resemblance between the advaita of 
Sri Sankara and the Sivadvaita of Srikanta. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita very graphically describes dvaita as the 
lowest step, visishtadvaita as the middle step and sivadvaita and advaita 
which are very close to each other as the highest steps. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita calls himself again and again in this work as a follower of the 
advaita doctrine, but the followers of sivadvaita also claim him as one 
of their great Acharyas. Sri Appayya Dikshita is one of those rare 
souls, who has earned distinction and the biruda of “Srikanta Mathapra- 
tishtapana Acharya ” along with the birudas, “ Dvitiya Sankara ” and 
“ Advaita Sthapana Acharya ”. 

During the Vijayanagar period, when Ramaraya was ruling as the 
all powerful regent, and when the Rajaguru Sri Tatacharya, had a great 
deal of royal patronage and support, the worship of Lord Siva was about 
to be completely extinguished from the land, on account of the vigorous 
proselytising activities of the Vaishnavas. In those days, Saivism and 
Smarthas were being converted into Vaishnavism both by means of force 
and also by means of several inducements. It was against this background 
that Sri Appayya Dikshita had to dedicate himself to the noble task of 
propagating saivism in order to save it from being utterly annihilated. 

He started his crusade in favour of Saivism and against the attacks 
on it by narrow-minded Vaishnavite scholars, after getting for himself 
the patronage of the Vellore king Chinna Bomma Nayaka. It was for 
the performance of this ennobling task that he undertook upon himself, 
that he wrote a number of works extolling Lord Siva, His Greatness, 
and the method of His Worship etc. The foundations for the great 
efflorescence of Saiva Siddhanta that is now seen in South India, was 
laid in the Srikanta Bhashya. By writing an elaborate commentary 
upon it, Sri Appayya Dikshita served as the very founder for the propa¬ 
gation of Saivism in this part of the country. 

Chinna Bomma Nayaka gave a good deal of financial assistance 
and patronage for the propagation of the work Sivarka mani dipika 
after it was finished. First of all, he called a great Sadas of pandits and 
performed Kanakabhisheka to Sri Appayya Dikshita. Next he gave all 
facilities for the five hundred and odd great pandits who came forward 
to learn Sivarka mani dipika under Sri Appayya Dikshita and started 
its propagation. The Vidvans who studied this work from the original 
fount of knowledge of Dikshita himself, spread themselves in several 



directions and helped to propagate Simdvaita. Sri Appayya Dikshita 
performed this stupendous work in a spirit of a missionary zeal for a 
number of years without tiring. On account of this, he had to undergo 
a great deal of opposition and trouble. His enemies were at times prepared 
even to kill him for his work. But he never minded any of these troubles, 
but went on with his self appointed mission. He started writing works 
on advaita only after setting the Saiva worship on proper foundations as 
he had originally planned. This is stated in the great Purana, Siva 
Rahasya, as follows : 

^ f^nFtnrfTT^ 

C\ o „ 

Sri Nilakanta Dikshita, a descendant of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
praised this monumental work in the following verse : 

fjrfw ^ 11 

In the following next verse Sri Nilakanta Dikshita also makes mention of 
the Kanakabhisheka of Sri Appayya Dikshita by Chinna Bomma Nayaka 
as follows : 


5^: 2KRTR1 II 

This work was published in Kumbhakonam several years ago 
by Sri Halasyanatha Sastri. It is difficult to get copies now. The number 
of scholars who have read this work is also very small. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita was a thorough master of the mimamsa. 
Everyone of his religious works is full of extremely learned discussions 
of the canons of the mimamsa as applied to the interpretation of vedanta. 
He delighted in mimamsa discussions and his vedantic works give us as 
clear an insight into the canons of mimamsa as the best text works 
on the subject. 

The Sivarka mani dipika displays the most thorough-going know¬ 
ledge of mimamsa, vyakarana, nyaya, rhetoric, and in fact of the whole 
field of Sanskrit literature. What Vachaspati, Sudarsana and Jaya- 
tirtha have done for the Bhashyas of Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita has done for the Bhashyas of Srikanta. In many 
places the book is more an original discussion than a commentary. 
As an intellectual treat, there is not a more learned and well reasoned 
and interesting work than the Sivarka mani dipika. To the Siva bhakta, 
the book is a priceless treasure. The author pronounces Srikanta to 
have been a practiser of the Dahara Vidya. He defects this fact by 
a critical examination of Srikanta’s references to the different vidyas. 



39. Sivadvaita Nirnaya ; This is a very small work in which 
the doctrine of Sivadvaita has been easily explained. This work has been 
published by Late Sri S. S. Suryanarayana Sastri with an English Transla¬ 
tion, under tlie aegis of the Madras University. 

40 and 41. Anandalahari Chandrika: This work purports to 
explain the essence of Srikanta Bhashya in easy terms. The Chandrika 
is the author’s own commentary on his own work. 

This work has also been published in Srirangam due to the efforts 
of Sri Halasyanatha Sastri. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita makes clear in his work that Srikanta 
Bhashya has been written in very close approximation to the trend of 
thought of Sri Sankara in his Brahmasiitra Bhashya that Srikanta propa¬ 
gated his cult on the understanding that sagunopasana is only the first 
step to nirgunopasana, and that it was the real intention of Srikanta that 
the final truth lies only in Suddhadvaita. The great dialectical skill of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, is fully reflected in this work, where he tries to 
narrow down the differences between the apparently divergent schools 
of thought, and tries to show that the advaita of Sri Sankara is the real 
eternal truth to which all others try to approximate. 

42. Bhasma Vada Vali: From the title of the work it can 
perhaps be inferred that this is a work on the greatness of wearing the 
Vibhuti which is quite common among the Saivites. It does not appear 
that the book has upto now been published anywhere. 

43 and 44. Ratnalraya Pariksha and its commentary: This 
work has been published in Mysore by Sri Pranatarthihara 
Sastri. In this extremely short work containing only very few verses, which 
Sri Appayya Dikshita calls as the three gems or ratna traya, Sri Dikshita 
proves on the basis of the pramanas of the Puranas, that Siva is really 
the Parabrahma, that it is the Sivasakti in the female form that is known 
as Parvati, and that it is the same sakti which is known as Narayana in 
the male form, and that on account of these, Hari, Hara and Ambika, 
all the three have Brahmatva, and that it is not necessary to fight among 
ourselves as to who is greater and who is smaller, since all the three are 
derived only from the same eternal source. Sri Nilakanta Dikshita 
refers only to this work in this following verse of his : 

miHlfd '■fTDT 

45. Siva Mahima Kalikastuti; This is a work in 25 verses 
praising Lord Siva. By handling the slesha or the technique of using 
words and phrases that can be interpreted in two different manners, 



the author is able to expound in this work some of the principles of 
mimamsa. Sri Dikshita himself must have written a commentary or 
vyakhya on this, since the verse, as they exist to-day, could not be fully 
understood without a commentary, as the intricate details of the 
mimamsa sastra have all been brought forward in this work by means of 
similes. Moreover, in this work all the details of Ishti, pasu, etc. given 
in the karmakanda, all details of yagas like the Soma yaga, and the 
upasana of Lord Siva as given in the gnanakanda have been explained as 
per the rules of mimamsa, with slesha alankara. Hence a commentary 
is very essential to grasp the correct meaning of this. Unfortunately, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita’s commentary on this is not available. Hence 
Mannargudi Sri Raju Sastrigal, a descendant of Sri Appayya Dikshita, 
and himself a great scholar, has written an elaborate coip^entary on 
this. This was printed in the last century and has been republished 
by Sri Kamakoti Kosasthana, Madras. 

This Stuti, in addition to explaining the Ki?</mj/ictruths,isalsoreplete 
with the rules of purva-mimamsa, Vedanta is described as the divine 
parijata tree here. The idea is that like the Parijata which is the tree of 
Devas and which grows in the Nandanodyana and which fulfils all desires, 
so does Vedanta which gives to a devotee all the purusharthas. 
This Stuti can be compared to a bouquet made of Parijata flowers. 
The fragrance that emanates is the Purva mimamsa rules. Without a 
knowledge of them vedanta cannot really be understood. Hence this is 
said to contain the essence of both the systems of thought. 

46 and 47. Pancharatna Stuti and its commentary : These are 
short devotional works. 

The other Sivadvaita works generally attributed to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita are : 

48. Virasaivam. 

49. Sivadhyana Paddhati vyakhyana. 

50. Sivapurana tamasatva kandanam. 

51. Saivakalpadruma. 

(iv) Mimamsa works : 

52 and 53. Vidhirasayana and Sukhopayojini: This is a 
well-known and renowned work containing details of the three great 
doctrines or “Vidhis” which are well-known in the Mimamsa Sastra. 
This has been printed and is well-known among scholars. Sri Nilakanta 
Dikshita has praised this work in the following verse : 

STtPcT m iRlfer: II 



Sukhopayojini is a commentary on the Vidhirasayana. Since these and 
the other Mimamsa works of Sri Appayya Dikshita were well-known in 
the northern parts of our country also during his own life time, one 
scholar by name Khandadeva who belonged to the next generation and 
who also propagated the Mimamsa doctrines speaks of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita as “ Mimamsaka Murdhanya 

Mimamsa vada nakshtra mala: This is contained in the work 
“ Purvottara mimamsa vada nakshtra mala which has been listed as item 6 
above under Vedanta works. As it is also a work on mimamsa it is also 
listed here. This also has been printed in Srirangam. 

54. Upakrama Parakrama : The upakrama and the upasamhara 
are two technical terms. In this work, the prominence and importance 
of upakrama are brought out. This work is an elaborate discussion of 
the upakrama nyaya of the mimamsa as applied to the vedanta. This is 
common to both Purva Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa. This work 
has been printed. 

55. Chitrapata: This teaches the rules of Mimamsa. It does 
not appear that this has been printed. 

56. Mayukhavali: This is a commentary on the work Sastra 
dipika of Parthasarathi Misra. This has been published in Srirangam. 

Siva Mahima Kalikastuti; This has already been noted as item 45 
above. As in this work, the anusthanas and the Swarupas of yagnas or 
sacrifices and the principles contained in them are being taught in easy 
similes, it is listed under the mimamsa works also. 

The following two works are also generally attributed to Sri 
Appayya Dikshita. 

57. Tantrika mimamsa. 

58. Dharma mimamsa paribhasa. 

(v) Vykarana works: 

59. Paniniya tantravada nakshtra mala: This work consists 
of 27 questions or prasnas on vyakarana or grammar, along with the 
explanations for them. It is stated that this work is found along with 
other printed works in an old Lahore catalogue. This might have been 
printed somewhere but copies are not available. 

(vi) Kavya vyakhyanas : 

60. Yadavabhyudaya Vyakhyana : This is a vyakhyana or 
commentary on the Mahakavya Yadavabhyudaya written by Sri Vedanta 
Desika the great Vaishnavlte teacher. Out of the 24 chapters or Sargas 


of the work, the commentary on the first 12 sargas has been printed in 
Telugu and later in three parts in Srirangam. The full commentary 
might be available in manuscripts only. Just like the 15th Sarga of 
Kiratarjmiyam and the 21st Sarga of Maghakavya, one Sarga of Yadava- 
bhyudayam contains the sabda chitra. To write a commentary upon 
this is possible only for a great pandit who like Mallinatha must have 
mastered the Kosa Vyakarana. Without a commentary the verses could 
not be understood. Also even otherwise, the Slokas of Sri Desika 
aie written in terse style which are difficult to understand and are 
full of deep implied meanings, and hence they need a commentary. 

It is stated that king Chinna Thimma while he was hearing the 
Yadavabhyudaya in the midst of an assembly of pandits stated that the 
work required a commentary and since upto then no commentary had 
not been written, he felt that it was most appropriate that Sri Appayya 
Dikshita himself should undertake it. Sri Appayya Dikshita thereupon 
undertook the work. This is stated by Sri Appayya Dikshita himself in 
the beginning of his Vyakhyana in the following verse : 

jWtT4Tf^rT 11 

tit 11 

The Yadavabhudaya is one of those works through which Sri Appayya 
Dikshita reached the height of his glory. 

(vii) Alankaras: 

61. Kuvalayananda : This is also a very well-known and a 
standard text on the alankara sastra which teaches arthalankara. All 
the old treatises on the subject have been analysed and re-edited by the 
author, and the entire work was written in a very pleasing and clear 
manner with the help of examples and introducing some new alankaras 
also. Students of alankara generally read the Kuvalayananda as the 
first standard work. This has two commentaries on it, one called the 
Chandrika and the other called Rasika Ranjani. The Chandrika has 
been published in the Nirnaya Sagar Press in Bombay and is in vogue. 
Rasika Ranjani has been published from Kumbhakonam by 
Sri Halasyanatha Sastri. 

62. Chitra Mimamsa : This is an elaborate descriptive work 
with full examples of the Lakshana of the more important Arthalankaras. 



Following this pattern, Sri Jagannadha Pandita wrote his famous 
Rasagangadhara. The Cliitra Mimamsa has been written in the traditional 
sastraic manner. This has been printed in the Nirnaya Sagar Press. 

63. Vritti Vartika : This work deals with the Vrittis which are 
described in the Alankara Sastras as Abidha, Lakshana and Vyanjana. 
This is a small work. This has been published in the Nirnaya Sagar 

(viii) Devotional Poetry : 

64 and 65. The Varadarajastava and its commentary : Sri 
Appayya Dikshita, though he was by conviction an advaitin had no 
differences with regard to worship of Lord Siva or Lord Vishnu. 
Moreover, he and his ancestors had all along lived in Kanchipuram and 
hence they were highly devoted to Lord Varadaraja, the presiding deity 
of that place. 

It is said that Sri Acharya Dikshita had written a work called 
Varadaraja Vasantotsava Varnana. Sri Appayya Dikshita in his 
Varadarajastava describes the divine beauty of the Lord in 106 verses of 
exquisite beauty and charm. It is as if he has adorned the beautiful 
form of the Lord with a garland as it were of 106 verses. He has himself 
written a commentary on this. In it he explains in great detail the 
Lakshanas of the various alankaras handled by him in the main work. 

For every great work of composition what is indispensable is 
not so much the mere technical skill as the inner shining beauty called 
the pratibha. This pratibha consists of five elements, namely, Atisayokti, 
Vakrokti, Slesha, Pada Saushtava and Sabda Madhurya. A kavya is 
said to be a great one only if it contains all these elements. The 
varadarajastava is full of these and is for ever shining as an ornament 
of beauty to the Lord of Kanchipuram. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita himself appears to have had a great partiality 
for the work and held it as a favourite. He quotes several slokas from 
this poem in his Kuvalayananda to illustrate some alankaras. The author 
of the Rasikaranjani a commentary on the Kuvalayananda appears to 
have had access to this commentary. His commentary on the 
mangala sloka of the Kuvalayananda which is the first sloka of this poem 
is a verbatim copy of the poet’s commentary. 

66. Atmarpanastuti: Sri Appayya Dikshita who demonstrated 
his complete mastery over descriptive verses in his Varadarajastava has 
in the Atmarpanastuti dealt with equal facility with mystic poetry and 
makes the inner self melt as it were by his exquisite poetry. In this work, 
we see the profound maturity of the true devotion to the Supreme Lord. 
The Atmarpana or surrender of oneself, is the very acme or end in the 



various stages of devotion to the Lord. There cannot be a greater stage 
in one’s evolution than this. This work seeks moksha or release as a 
final end. This reflects the inner mental state of a great devotee, in whom 
the ego has become fully extinct. The state of one who surrenders 
himself to the Lord is a stage of complete detachment. What he wants 
is eternal happiness. What he aims at is only release from the bondage 
of the never-ending cycle of births and deaths. 

There is a traditional account as to how this work came to be 
written. Once Sri Appayya Dikshita wanted to test the maturity of 
his own devotion to the Lord. Hence he swallowed the juice of the 
datura fruit, which introduces intoxication, and told his disciples that 
they should write down whatever he says, during the stage when his 
consciousness was disturbed. In the stage of unconsciousness generally 
all suppressed ideas would find release and come out into the open. 

The disjointed prattle of Sri Appayya Dikshita in a stage of 
intoxication became this stutikavya which is generally known as Unmatta 
Panchasati, because all the fifty verses in this work, were composed at a 
stage when Sri Appayya Dikshita had no control over his mental faculties. 
This work is also called as Atmarpanastuti. From this work the fact 
that Sri Appayya Dikshita had completely identified himself with the 
ninth stage of self-surrender or atma samarpana in bhakti yoga became 
very clear. In this work, Sri Appayya Dikshita has totally surrendered 
himself to Lord Siva with a deep prayer that he should be given complete 
freedom from the cycle of births and deaths and be identified in the 
advaitic state of oneness with Lord Siva. 

Sri Sivananda Yogi, a biographer of Sri Appayya Dikshita has 
written a commentary on this work. 

67. Apitakuchambastava: Once Sri Appayya Dikshita had 
gone to Tiruvannamalai for darshan of Lord Arunachaleswara there. 
There he was laid with a severe fever. At that stage he prayed to the 
Goddess of that place, Apitakuchamba for relief from his suffering 
and this work composed in that context is now known as Apitakuchamba¬ 

68. Manasollasa : In this very small work, Sri Appayya Dikshita 
teaches to his own mind complete detachment and vairagya. He 
instructs his mind that it should pray to Lord Pasupati in a state 
of utter detachment, and see some way by which the next Janma could 
be avoided. 

69. Nigrahastaka: Sri Appayya Dikshita during his propa¬ 
gation of Saivism, had to incur the enmity of a number of persons. 
Once when he was out travelling, certain professional killers were engaged 
by his enemies to kill Sri Appayya Dikshita. At that stage when 




his life was in danger, Sri Appayya Dikshita prayed to the Lord in these 
eight verses to protect him and to bring destruction to his enemies. His 
obstacles were then removed and his enemies were also killed by the grace 
of the Lord. 

70. Hari Ham stuti : In the great kshetra, Chidambaram, 
the temple to Sri Govindaraja, tlie Vishnava Lord, which was closed 
for worship was thrown open again for worship during the time of 
Ramaraya, the regent of Vijayanagar, through the good offices of one 
vaishnavite teacher Doddacharya. Sri Appayya Dikshita who had no 
distinction between Siva and Vishnu, fully welcomed this. In honour of 
that great event he wrote the Harihara Stuti. This contains ten verses. 
In each both Siva and Vishnu are praised alternatively. It is well- 
known that in Chidambaram one can have darshan of both the Lords 
at the same time. 

71 and 72. Durga chandra kala stuti and its commentary : 
This durgastuti is like a mantra sastra designed to avert poverty, fear 
from enemies, fear from death, several difficulties, several unanticipated 
disasters etc., for devotees and is in fifteen verses. The Devi mahatmya and 
the other anecdotes about the devi given in Varahapurana, Harivamsa, 
Bhagavata etc., are given in condensed form in this work. Traditionally 
the descendents of Sri Appayya Dikshita do the japa of this work during 
their Sandhya worship. 

73 and 74. Aditya Stotra ratna and its commentary : In this 
work are described in great detail and also following the injunctions of 
the smritis, stutis and puranas, the principles about Aditya or Lord Sun, 
his chariot, or Ratha, the orbit or Rathachara, his horses etc. In it 
are also described the laws of the suryopasakas, the greatness of the rays of 
Aditya, Lord Sun, the greatness of Lord Siva who remains hidden as the 
inner principle of the suryamandala and the good that will accrue as a 
result of suryopasana. The phalastuti in the work mentions that by 
studying the work constantly, one will be removed from all illnesses and 
will obtain all greatness. 

75. Sri Margabandhu pancha ratna : This work is about Lord 
Marga Sahayesvara of Virinchipura who was the family deity of Sri 
Appayya Dikshita and his family. In the month of margali, traditionally 
in South India, in the early morning people go round the streets with the 
noise of conches and doing bhajan and kirtcm. This work is also set in 
the same popular tune ‘ the pallavi ’ runs as follows : 

51^ R'^1^ 

76. Sri Margasa^yalingastuti: This is a very short work 
in praise of the family deity of Sri Appayya Dikshita namely 
Lord Margasahayesvara of Virinchipura, written in the Upajati vritta. 




77. Gangadharastaka : This is not available to us in full. This 
is in praise of the family deity of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

The following devotional works are also generally attributed to 
Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

78. Krishna dhyana paddhati 

79. Paduka saliasra vyakhya 

80. Anugrahashtaka 

81. Krishna dhyana paddhati vyakhya 

82. Arunachalesvara stuti 

83. Jayollasanidhi 

84. Margasahayastotra 

85. Margabandhuchampu svakula daivata stuti rupa 

86. Vishnu tatva rahasyam 

87. Santistava 

88. Stotraratnakara 

89. Bhaktisatakam 

(ix) Other miscellaneous : 

In addition to the above works, the following fifteen works are also 
ascribed to Sri Appayya Dikshita taking up the total to 104. 

90. Balachandrika 

91. Commentary on item 90 

92. Nama sangraha mala (Abhidana kosa rupa) 

93. Commentary on item 92 

94. Sabdaprakasa-kosa rupa 

95. Prakrita chandrika 

96. Amarakosa vyakhya 

97. Tinktha sesha sangraha (fdd-rri 

98. Panchasvara vritti 

99. Prabodha chandrodaya tika 

100. Vasumati chitrasena vilasa natakam 

101. Hamsa sandesa tika 

102. Lakshana ratnavali vykhya 

103. Hari vamsa sara charita vyaakhya 

104. Dasakumara charita sangraha 

In the Dikshita vamsabharana of Mannargudi Raju Sastrigal, only 
about 34 works are given. Sri K. V. Subramanya Sastry who has written 
a biography of Sri Appayya Dikshita has in his work given a list of nearly 
73 works. This is based on the list given in the Sri Thyagaraju Vijaya 
of Sri Yagnanarayana Sastrigal. Some other biographies give a list of 
as many as 96 works. 



The full exhaustive list of 104 works attributed to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita is given above. As per this, he has written 25 works on Vedantic 
topics, 26 works on Sivadvaita themes, 7 volumes on rmmatma, one each 
on Kavya Vyakhyana, and Vyakarma vyakhyana, 3 on Alarakaras, 
26 works of a devotional nature and 15 works of a miscellaneous 
character thus totalling 104. It is only further research and careful 
comparison of various manuscripts and proper editing of them, that can 
finally establish the authenticity of the authorship of all the manuscripts 
of works by Sri Appayya Dikshita. But that he wrote these works on 
these variety of themes seems beyond doubt. 

Chapter XV 

A rare scholar with a catholic outlook 

Even though Sri Appayya Dikshita was a great devotee of Lord 
Siva, and is said to have attained his mukti at Chidambaram, while having 
the darshan of the Lord, he did not make any difference in his writings 
between Lord Narayana and Lord Siva. He has composed many poems 
emphasising the view that there is no real difference between Siva and 
Vishnu. As a true devotee, not differentiating between Siva and Vishnu, 
he made it clear in all his works that no cultivated person should have 
any rancour against either of the forms of divinity. Yet, for the purpose 
of Bhakti, is was necessary to have one Lord as the supreme object of 
meditation and devotion, and Sri Appayya Dikshita selected Lord Siva 
for this purpose. 

The catholicity of outlook of Sri Appayya Dikshita is seen from 
the fact that he composed the Naya-mayukha-malika where he has 
collected all the arguments in favour of Ramanuja’s sect of vishnavism. 
In a similar manner, he has also composed the Nyaya-muktavali which 
stresses the position taken by Madhvacharya. Sri Appayya Dikshita 
and Vachaspatimisra are the only two well-known acharyas who have 
written standard authoritative works on various sects of philosophy. 

Sri Dikshita’s impartiality could be seen from various facts. He 
was a great admirer of Sri Vedanta Desika. He wrote a commentary 
of the Yadavabhyudaya, the only commentary so far known and published. 
His hymns in praise of Lord Varadaraja are well-known . In his 
Kuvalayananda, he invokes the blessings of Mukunda at the commencement 
of the work. When the great Vijayanagar Minister, Ramaraya, restored 
the worship of Govindaraja in the temple of Nataraja at Chidambaram, 
Sri Dikshita welcomed this with all his heart, and wrote his Hari-Hara- 
Stuti in commemoration of it. The verses by their alternating epithets 
deftly suggest the concept of Hari-Hara-Abedha. In his famous Ratna- 
Traya-Pariksha, he conceded Brahmatva to Vishnu along with Isvara 
and Ambika. In this work, he supports his stand, by ample quotations 
from the Puranas and especially from the Kurtnapurana. His synthesis 
of Vishnu and Gauri was not a mere ingenious innovation of his. He 
claimed for it, the undoubted authority of antiquity and the sanction of 

Even in philosophical speculations, he did not think that the 
rival interpretations were entirely in the wrong, for, he declares that no 


one can prevent different interpretations when the Sutras themselves 
are capable of yielding different meanings. He wrote the Chatur-Mata- 
Sara, to illustrate the philosophical thoughts of the four prominent 
schools of interpretations of the Vyasa Sutras. The Naya-Manjari 
deals with advaita, the Naya-Manimala with Srikantha-Matha, the 
Nay a-Mayukha-Malika with Ramunaja’s philosophy, and the Nyaya- 
Mukta-Vali with Madhva’s philosophy. His remarkable catholicity 
of outlook, his thoroughness in methods, his impartiality, his unerring- 
sense of values, his passionate search for turth, are all so well evident in 
these writings, that the Vaishnavas have adopted the Naya-Mayukha- 
Malika as their manual for their careful and reverent study and the 
Madhvas the Nyaya-Muktavali. Viewing different philosophical 
systems from the heights of his own philosophical enlightenment, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita saw in them, different methods to reach the same 
goal by lending themselves to reconciliation, and not to mutual exclusive¬ 
ness and hostility. 

A Writer on Advaitic 

After doing his best to settle the sectarian disputes, Sri Appayya 
Dikshita turned to writing works for the elucidation and uplift of the 
advaita philosophy. His greatest and memorable work is the Parimala 
which is a commentary on the Kalpataru of Amalananda. The Kalpataru 
is itself a commentary on Vachaspatimisra’s Bhamati which is a gloss on 
the Sutra Bhashya of Sri Sankara. These four commentaries along with 
the original Brahmasutra constitute the vedantic Pancha-Grandhi. This 
celebrated work earned for him the title of Advaita-Stapana-Charya. 
His Nyaya-Raksha-Mani and Siddhanta-Lesa-Sangraha are very 
popular vedantic texts in which are enshrined rare concepts and 
comments on advaita. 

A Writer on Mimamsa Sastra and other branches of learning 

Special mention must also be made of Sri Dikshita’s contribution 
to the growth of the mimamsa sastra. Khandadeva, the founder of the 
modern school of mimamsa wrote his Kaustubha a few decades after 
the life of Sri Appayya Dikshita. He reverentially refers to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita as mimamsaka-murdhanya, the mascer-authoritative among 
the writers of mimamsa. The Vidhi-Rasayana and the Kuvalayananda 
were monumental works written by Sri Appayya Dikshita during the 
later period of his life . In the Vidhi-Rasayana Sri Appayya Dikshita 
clearly indicated that his life’s work has been done, that nothing more 
remains for him to be desired, and that, he still kept contact with courts 
and kings, not for himself, but only to help others. 

There was no branch of learning including literary criticism and lexicon, 
to which Sri Appayya Dikshita did not make valuable contributions. 



His Kuvalayananda and Chitra-Mimamsa are still great standard texts 
to students of alankara sastra. In addition to being a great sastraic scholar 
he was also a poet of high order. His expression is simple, natural 
and flowing. His Varadarajastam scintillates with gems of alankaras, 
and his own gloss over it, deserves to be classed as an alankara-sasira. 

Writer of Devotional Poetry 

Great mystic eflicacy is attached to his Durgachandra-Kala- 
Stuti and Adityastavaratna. There is an interesting story about his 
Atmarpanastuti. It bears the alternative name of Unmattapanchasati, 
which means, “fifty verses composed during a state of madness It 
is said that Sri Dikshita wanted to make self-examination of his sincerity 
and depth of devotion to God. He contrived to enter into an inebriate 
state by drinking a cup of the datura juice, after instructing his disciples 
to observe his behaviour and write down his utterances under the 
influence of intoxication. His utterances took the form of a devotional 
outpouring in which he made self-surrender to God Almighty describing 
himself and his woes as subject to the ills of mundane life, and praying for 
the final release from the bonds of samsara. His Apitakuchamba-Stava is 
hallowed by tradition. It relieved him of a fever which he caught during 
a tour to Tiruvannamalai. The Hariharastuti has a historical significance. 
The Siva-Mahima-Kalika-Stuti incorporates Mimamsa-Nyayas in 
a string of devotional verses. The ManasoUasa is a caution addressed 
in dejection and despair to one’s own mind, inportuning it to make the 
best use of the birth as human being for the realisation of the true goal 
of life. His Marga-Bandhu-Stotra is a popular prayer for safety during 
journeys as his Aditya-Stava-Ratna is for health. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita as a Poet 

Normally, pandits well versed in the Sastras are not good poets. 
However Sri Appayya Dikshita who had divine grace was not only a 
great pandit but also a great poet and a connoisseur of fine arts. For 
acquiring the learning in the Sastras a good intellect is necessary. 
Similarly emotional imagination is necessary for creative poetry. For both 
these qualities to be found in the same person is a rare event. It is as rare 
as finding both strength and amiability, sternness and sympathy, strength 
and humility etc., in the same person. We generally find this combination 
only very rarely and that too in some gifted individuals. Such gifted 
and great souls like Vyasa, Sankara, Appayya Dikshita etc., have been 
able to write about abstruse systems of philosophy in exquisite poetic 
style. Both poets and pandits ultimately seek the same eternal final 
truth, based upon their personal experience which cannot be expressed 
in words. 

Poetry is one of the methods of making the mind one pointed in 
contemplation of Lord Parameswara. Wliilc deeply thinking of the most 



appropriate words or phrases to express in language the deeply felt 
subjective experiences, a certain stage of Samadhi is generated in which 
the mind gets immersed in the contemplation of Lord. It is this that 
Sri Appayya Dikshita hints at in his Varadarajasiava in the following 


Praise of Sri Dikshita By Other Poets 

There are many works written by contemporaneous poets praising 
Sri Appayya Dikshita and his works. The elderly poet Sarvabhauma 
Kavi has praised the depth, profoundity and the scholarship of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita who was not even 20 years old. 

Samarapungava Dikshita in his Yatra Prabandha describes in verse 
and prose the greatness of Dikshita. His elder brother learnt Sivarka- 
mani Dipika under Sri Appayya Dikshita. The poet describes how 
Sri Appayya Dikshita conquered other pandits in dialectical debates and 
was inimitable in his own right, how King Chinna Bomma performed 
Kanakabhiseka to him, and how innumerable disciples learnt under his 
feet, and how their fame spread throughout the world, and how he had 
laen the greatness of Sri Appayya Dikshita with his own eyes. He also 
describes the great qualities of head and heart of Sri Dikshita, his 
generosity, and his devotion to Lord Siva. 

Another contemporaneous poet describes in detail as to how 
Sri Appayya Dikshita, while performing yag/iaj fed a lot of people and 
how he distributed a lot of gold coins, to them. 

Yet another poet has written that while several Kings of other 
places are awaiting darsan of Sri Appayya Dikshita, King Chinna Bomma 
was the only person who was fortunate enough to hear the discourse of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita in praise of Lord Siva everyday. 

It has been written by another contemporaneous writer that only 
those who have read the works of Sri Appayya Dikshita who was well 
versed in all the Sastras, and who had written a number of works, could 
be deemed to be a vidvan, and those who had not done so could not be 
so deemed. 

Balakavi and another poet have also described the greatness of 
Sri Dikshita in writing the Kalpataru-Parimala. 



Sri Nilakanta Dikshita who was the grandson of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita has, in all his works, praised the greatness of his grandfather. 
In his works called Sivotkarsha manjari, Sivalilantava, Sivataivarahasya, 
Nilakanta Vijaya Champu, Gangavatarana, Nalacharitra Nataka, etc., 
he describes in great detail the greatness of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

Contribution to Philosophical thinking 

Dikshita was a thorough master of the mimamsa. Every one of 
his religious works is full of extremely learned discussions of the canons 
of the mimamsa as applied to the interpretation of the vedanta. He 
delighted in mimamsa discussions and his vedantic works give us a clear 
insight into the canons of the mimamsa as the best textbooks on the 
subject. The Sivarkamani dipika displays the most thorough-going 
knowledge of mimamsa, vyakarana, nyaya, rhetoric, and in fact, of the 
whole field of Sanskrit literature. What Vachaspati, Sudarsana and 
Jayatirtha, have done for the Bhashyas of Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva, 
Dikshita has done for the Bhashya of Srikanta. In many places the 
book is more an original discussion than a commentary. As an intel¬ 
lectual treat, there is not a more learned and well-reasoned and interesting 
work than the Sivarka mani dipika. The author has, against his own 
advaitic conviction, to fight as best as he could for establishing dvaitism 
and demolishingadvaitism. His genius evolves purvapakshas and siddhantas 
for the different adhikaranas to arrive at dvaitic conclusions with a 
thoroughness which must astound for ever the greatest thinkers. To the 
Siva Bhakta, the book is a priceless treasure. The author pronounces 
Srikanta to have been a practiser of the dahara vidya. He detects that 
fact by a critical examination of Srikanta’s reference to the different 
vidyas. In his commentary on the sloka. 

1^; 't'^Pta ®Ml=n''6<T II 

Dikshita appears to incline to the view that Srikanta came after Ramanuja 
and Madhva. That view would differ from the statement in the Sankara 
Vijaya of Madhva that Srikanta was a contemporary of Sankara. The 
Sikharinimala consists of sixty slokas in praise of Siva. The verses 
contain arguments for the supremacy of Siva and the Sivatattva Viveka 
is a commentary upon them. The Sivatattva Viveka is an elaborate 
attempt to establish that Siva is the Lord of the Universe. For the Saiva 
cult no book has done more service than the Sivatattva Viveka. Even 
from a purely intellectual point of view , the book will not fail to elicit 
the admiration of all impartial scholars. 

The Parimala is an extremely elaborate commentary on the 
Kalpataru which is a commentary on the Bhamati which in its turn is a 
commentary upon the Bhashya of Sankara on the Brahma Sutras. 



Madhusudana Sarasvati refers to the Parimala as an eminent authority on 
the Advaita. Brahmananda defines Vedanta Sastra as being comprised 
of the five books, viz., the Brahma Sutra, Sankara Bhashya, Bhamati, 
Kalpataru and Parimala. The author of the Kalpataru was himself a great 
mimamsaka and he discusses a large number of mimamsa nyayas in the 
Kalpataru. This gives great scope to Dikshita for discussing almost all the 
nyayas of the mimamsa elaborately in the Parimala. The value of the 
Parimala as a guide for understanding the Kalpataru is spoken of highly in 
the Nalacharita in the following sloka. 


“ Appa Dikshita how shall I describe your munificence which is 
beyond piaise? Even that Kalpaka tree {Kalpataru) which gives all that 
is asked for depends upon your words for their Artha (meaning, 
pecuniary gain). ” 

The Parimala is as powerful an advocacy of advaita as the Sivarka 
mani dipika is of visistadvaita. We are reminded of the great Vachaspati 
who wrote commentaries on all the six darsanas saying the very best 
that can be said for each of them. In the Siddhantalesa Sangraha, 
Dikshita has extracted all the different views of the different writers on 
advaita on all controversial points. The Nyaya raksha mani is a splendid 
exposition of the advaitic interpretation of the first Adhyaya of the 
Brahmasutras. It is a clear and an elaborate exposition of the meaning 
of the Sutras. The book contains a great many original arguments both 
for the Purvapaksha and the Siddhanta under each adhikarana. In 
the Anandamayadhikarana, his arguments are simply brilliant. 

Dikshita goes a great way to show how appropriate the language 
is to suit the meaning of Sankara. The Upakarma Parakrama is an 
elaborate discussion of the Upakarma Nyaya of the mimamsa as applied 
to the Vedanta. The Vidhirasayana is a clear and full treatise on the 
nature of the different kinds of Vidhis. The author himself has written 
a commentary upon it. 

The Kuvalayananda, Chitramimamsa and Vritti Vartika are his 
works on rhetoric. 

The Nakshatra Vadavali is a work on vyakarana. 
The Ramayanatatparya Sangraha and Mahabharatatatparya Sangraha 
establish that the two Itihasas propound Siva as the Lord of 
the Universe. Dikshita has written numerous other works. Some of 
them are extant, and some others are known only by their names. 

He was a versatile genius and his scholarship was very wide 
and deep, He was really a Sarvatantra Swatantra which epithet he 



himself interpretes in his commentary on the Yadavabhyudaya as meaning 
one who can, according to his pleasure, prove or disprove any system of 
religion or philosophy. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita's Contribution to Devotional Poetry 

Devotional poems must be judged by their sincerity. They 
express the outpourings of a spiritual soul in mystic contemplation and 
union with the spiritual reality. Viewed from this point the devotional 
writings of Sri Appayya Dikshita are works par excellence. 

A tmarpanastiiti 

Atmarpanastuti is also known as unmattapanchasat. viz., 50 
verses composed during a state of madness. Sri Appayya Dikshita entered 
into a state of self-fortgetfulness by drinking the juice of datura flower 
after instructing his disciples to note down his litterings. The result is 
the above poems. 

His unconscious outpourings during intoxication, took the form 
of an exemplary devotional poem in which he makes self-surrender 
to God Paramesvara, describing the woes of mundane life and praying 
for relief from the bonds of Samsara. The Atmarpanastuti is the fruit 
of all his extensive and unparalleled scholarship and of all his lifelong 
labour in the fields of the various Sastras and for the reinterpretation, 
clarification and uplift of advaita and saiva siddhanta. It attests to the 
deep rooted sincerity and genuineness and abundance of his devotion 
to Isvara-the only hhava which is ever awake deep at the subconscious 
level, when all the transitory disturbing bhavas are put away. Atmarpana 
is the culmination of navavidha bhakti and is the immediate step to 
mukti. There cannot be a stotra which is higher in spiritual value than 
one devoted to atmarpana. It is the ripest fruit of the devotional attitude 
for which few could qualify. It is devotion at its highest functioning. 
There is no return from Atmarpana to the vicious circle of Samsara. 
It is that attainment in spiritual evolution in which the devotee 
loses his individuality and separateness from the immanence of God. 
It is the realisation of the advaita ideal which has crossed the 
unsurmountable barriers of aham mama bhavas. Only the greatest 
souls qualify themselves for the transcendental state. To most religious 
people devotion consists in offering ritualistic worship on varying degrees 
of libelality to God. A few succeed in putting tight reins over the mind 
and training it to the steadiness of contemplation. But there is the 
difference of a mountain to a mole between this kind of bhakti and 

A bhakta, doing absolute surrender, prays as in the following verse 
and does so with all sincerity after realising the futility of sam.sara 
while impatiently tugging at its irksome, stinging, and lacerating bonds. 



mfq qq ws?wr5=q 



People ordinarily pray to God for food and clothing, comfort 
and riches, and happy and unimpeded enjoyment of life. From man 
upto divine dignitaries like Indra and Brahrna, nobody is free from 
ambitions for wielding more and more power and for being installed in 
progressive positions of honour and dignity. But the Bhakta-cum- 
gnani, who surrenders to God his individuality, to become one with 
Him, conquers all his aspirations, as he is determined to tear the veil 
of Maya and stand face to face with God. He no more brooks to be 
held in the horrible clutches of the revolutions of birth and death. 


In the Varadarajastava, Sri Dikshita sees God in the form of the 
image, archavatara installed on the Hastigiri. He does so in all his 
wakefulness, and not in a subconcious dream impact, and God in His 
saguna aspect rises before the devotee resplendent with his divinely 
beauteous form. This divya saundarya of Varadaraja is the subject 
of the poem. The poet is filled with rapture at the comprehension of 
his poetic vision of that beauty, and pours out his admiration of it, in 
exultant strains which are matchless for the symphony of the terse word 
with the richest resonance humming around it. The stotra scintillates 
with gems of alankara and Sri Dikshita’s gloss over it pays special 
attention to the embellishments being brought out clearly in the light of 
the definitions. It looks as if the poet purposely made a jewelled garland 
offering to deck the deity with, having made the fascinating beauty of 
the deity the subject of his poem. This singlemindedness is an artistic 
effort, this purposefulness of the parts in moulding the whole, this harmony 
of the well-attuned strings of the instrument of communication of internal 
raptures, which is successful in emphasising the impression of unity 
running through the whole gamut of notes, is impossible of achivement 
except for the greatest of poets. 

Varadarajastava and its relevant commentary are works of very 
high order and do great credit to the greatness of the writer. 

The first sloka has an undescribable charm and comes from the 
heart of a pure yogi. The second shka is simply exquisite in its beauty. 
The 3rd, 4th, 5th slokas are by way of general introduction and in the 
6th, the regular stotra begins. The town of Kanchi is described as a 
jewel of the earth, the lovely image shining brilliantly on top of the 
elephant hill resembling the gem of that jewel. 



The poet’s comparisons of the river Palar with '/Taja in the 9th 
sloka indicates his patriotic love for his native river. The poem then 
goes on to describe the greatness of the latter in verses of great 
beauty. In the Varadarajastava, the descriptions used are atisayokti, 
utpreksha, and other alankaras used along with slesha for making 
his invaluable garland of gems to adorn the deity. Almost every verse 
reveals how he has manipulated simple facts of local tradition, temple 
structure, topography and other plain facts, to yield him great poetry with 
enviable charm. His immense erudition in the vrittis and knowledge of 
puranas has been made full use of to enrich the work. Almost every 
verse illustrates his flair for choosing the right word and setting it in 
most apt and attractive structural patterns. 

Sri Durga Chandra Kalastuti 

This is an equisite poem of 16 verses, in the Vasantatilaka metre. 
The stotra is replete with references to instances in vedas and puranas 
and has a reputation of possessing mystic efficiency. It forms as it were 
the quintessence of the matrasastra and is written in a style which reveals 
the great mystic power of poetry of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

In his other devotional hymns as well as stotras composed for 
specific purposes and events, the great power and poetic excellence 
of Sri Appayya Dikshita are brought out in full measure. 


Sri Appayya Dikshita is said to have travelled widely in the manner 
of those days, entering into philosophical disputations and controversies 
in many centres of learning including Varanasi. A prophet and a poet 
is only honoured after his age. But Sri Appayya Dikshita had the fortune 
of being revered and patronised in his life-time itself, by kings like 
Chinnabommanayaka then ruling Vellore and also by the Kings of Tanjore, 
Vijayanagar and Venkatagiri. He was a mighty intellect and a peerless 
sage, who expounded all the aspects of vedanta and saivite worship with 
erudition, facility and wisdom. Sri Appayya Dikshita led a life of a 
karma, bhakti and gnana yogi, and became a model for all posterity to 
follow. He had performed a number of yagas and yagnas, like the 
vajapeya etc. He was a nityagnihotri. 

Chapter XVI 


There were many great poets, scholars and writers, who 
belonged to the generation of Sri Appayya Dikshita as well to the 
generations succeeding him. Many of the events of the life of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita are woven round the personality of these persons. We can 
have an idea of the times and the conditions in which Sri Appayya 
Dikshita lived by studying the lives of these persons. The more famous 
among them are the following: 

1. Gururama Kavi: He belonged to the Mullandram village 
and came of an illustrious family of poets. He was the first gncM of Sri 
Appayya Dikshita and taught him the alphabets. He has written a 
number of kavyas and dramas. A drama by him by name Ratneswara 
Prasadanam has been published. 

2. Ratnaketa Dikshita: He belonged to the Tooppil family. 
He was honoured and patronised by the Pandya King Chandrasekhara. 
His real name was Srinivasadvari. He was said to be a Satavadhani. 
Once, while describing the evening sandhya time, he compared the 
mountains of the east and the west to two warriors who were firing at 
each other. The missiles shot by both which were shining were described 
as the stars or nakshatras in the firmament. To resist them, the eastern 
mountain and the western mountain were said to have taken the moon 
and the sun as two shields which were inlaid with gems or ratnas. 
Tradition has it, that the King, when he heard this clever description, 
gave him the title ratnaketa dikshita. 

He himself has mentioned in the vedantic work Bhavana 
Purushottama that the chieftain Surapa nayak gave him succour and 
patronage. We learn from other evidences ihai Surapa nayak's son 
Bodha nayaka ruled at Gingi fort from 1550 to 1575 A.D. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita calls him as mani naga puradhiswara. His mother’s name was 
Vengalamba. The three agraharas donated by him were given one in 
his own name, and the other two in the names of his parents and were 
called Vengalambapuram, Bodhasamudram and Surasamudram. 

Sri Srinivasa Dikshita was living in Surapa samudra and had the 
honour of having an elephant accompanying him which honour was 
conferred on him by the King. He has composed more than sixty 
mahakavyas. His son Rajachudamani Dikshita started writing dramas 
at the young age of seven. Many of his kavya natakalankara granthas 
are very famous. 



Ratnaketa Dikshita’s wife was also a great noet. There is a 
tradition that some pandits once came from the North with a view 
to invite Sri Dikshita to debate. They reached his house in the early 
morning and found his wife sprinkling the house with water in the process 
of cleaning it. On making enquiries of her, she sensed their intentions 
and replied in the following verse suited to the occasion. 

The meaning is as follows. “When Ratnaketa Dikshita, who is unri- 
balled among all pandits, comes to the debating ground, Brahaspati 
prattles, Adisesha slips away, the six faced god Subramanya hangs 
his head down and Brahma frowns at his own discomfiture” . 

The pandits who heard this verse composed on the spur of the 
moment, and set to the tune of the sounds of cleaning the house were 
stunned at her literary ability and gave up all attempts to engage Sri Diks¬ 
hita in debate and went away. 

There is another traditional story associated with Sri Dikshita. 
Once when the king Chandrasekhara, forgot the tithi of the day and 
asked the dikshita who was present in court what it was, Sri Dikshita, 
without any thought said that it was a pournima day. On hearing the 
derisive laughter of the other courtiers present, and remembering that it 
was amavasya, the King was perplexed and asked Sri Dikshita how it 
came about that he was wrong. Shri Dikshita told the king that his 
words would never go wrong. He sat in deep meditation and prayed to 
the Devi. Goddess Kamakshi appeared before him, and gave her tatanka 
or ear ornament to him and blessed him and went away. The ear orna¬ 
ment began to ascend to the heavens and shine like a resplendent moon 
and thus his words came true by divine grace. From that day onwards 
he was more honoured by the king. This is described in Sivanandayogi’s 
following verse : 


By the injunctions of the Goddess whom he worshipped, he 
gave his daughter Mangalanayaki as the wife of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
and was thus the father-in-law of the great Dikshita. 

3. Nrisimhasrami: The great saint with the above name has 
written several works on advaila vedanta. Sri Appayya Dikshitha onee 
came to Sri Nrisimhasrami. After acceptance of the biksha etc. and 
while conversing, Sri Nrisimhasrami told Sri Apoayya Dikshita that 
Sri Dikshita had spent a lot of his years in the controversy between the 
saivitives and the vaishnavites and had also written a number of works. 
He said that was not enough, and that Sri Dikshita must also write 
various works to explain the advaitic philosophy which was his family 
tradition and that he should write a commentary on the vedanta kalpataru 
so that others may understand it well. Sri Appayya Dikshita took to 
mind these injunctions and wrote the celebrated Parimala which was an 
unparalleled commentary on the Kalpataru. Tradition has it that 
Sri Nrisimhasrami was an avatar of Lord Dakshinamurti himself 

4. Govinda Dikshita : He is a well-known historical personage 
who lived for more than eighty years. He was minister to the Tanjore 
Nayak king, Sevappa Nayak, and also later served in the same capacity 
under Atchuta Nayak and Raghunatha Nayak also, who came in the 
same line. He must have been a contemporary of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 
Both were good friends and both were followers of advaita vedanta. 
However, we have no evidence to show that Sri Appayya Dikshita was 
patronised by the Tanjore rulers. The reason is not far to seek. The 
Tanjore Nayaks were vaishnavites and hence their traditional vaishnava 
Gurus might have objected to the patronage of a saivite teacher. Sri 
Sivananda says that these gurus objected to the performances of yagas. 
Hence Sri Appayya Dikshita might not have been patronised. But 
Sri Govinda Dikshita had performed a number of yagnas. Hence it is 
that Govinda Dikshita was appointed only as a minister and not as 
the Rajaguru. Sri Govinda Dikshita has constructed a number of temples, 
tanks, agraharas, educational institutions etc. with royal help. In 
many of the grants, given to Govinda Dikshita, he is referred to as 
‘ Dikshitan Ayyan’. This does not refer to Appayya Dikshita as is 
sometimes confused. They refer only to Govinda Dikshita. The 
Ayyan Street, the Ayyan tank etc. in Tanjore were all constructed by him. 
His son Sri Venkateswara Makhi was minister to Raghunatha Nayak 
and also to Vijayaraghava Nayaka. Another son called Yagna Narayana 
Dikshita, was a great poet. It is said that Govinda Dikshita lived in 
Pattisvaram and went daily by palanquin to Tanjore. In the temple at 
Pattisvaram, his sculpture with his wife is available. Govinda Dikshita 
has written a book on Carnatic music called Sangita Sudha. He was 
also an expert in astrology. His son Venkata Makhi has written Chatur- 
dandi Prakasika which is still the most authoritative work in Carnatic 
music. The Sahitya Ratnakara and the Raghunatha Vilasa Nataka by 



Yagna Narayana Dikshita are well-known. Sri Nilakantha Dikshita 
calls himself with pride as the disciple of Vcnkateswara Makhi. Sri 
Govinda Dikshita was one of the great souls born in the 16th century in 
South India. 

5. Sarva Bhauma Kavi : In the Dikshita Vamsabhanma 
by Mannargudi Raju Sastrigal, it is stated that Sarva Bhauma Kavi 
came from the North, sought out Sri Appayya Dikshita, who was just 
then coming up, and was greatly pleased at his scholarship. This poet 
was a renowned figure in the Vijayanagar courts and was also born in 
the Mullandram fiimily. He lived from the middle of the 15th century 
to the 16th century A.D. He was known as Rajanatha dindima sarva 
bhauma kavi. He has written the famous Saluvabhyudayam 
and Atchutarayabhyudaya about the well-known Vijayanagar emperors. 
Since he lived for more than 60 years as a court poet, he must have 
lived to a ripe age of 80 or 90. He might have met Sri Appayya Dikshita 
round about 1540 A.D. 

6. Mosur Suryanarayana Dikshita: He was a disciple of 

Sri Appayya Dikshita. The facts regarding his learning the Saiva Sasira 
underSri AppayyaDikshitaare given in the Champu called Yatrapraban- 
dha written by Sri Suryanarayana Dikshitar’s brother who was himself a 
great poet called Samara pungava dikshita. He has given an eyewitness 
account of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s tour in a palanquin, surrounded by 
his disciples, and displaying great pomp and show, which he saw with 
his own eyes in his young age. Mullandram and Mosur are villages 
near Adayapalam. In the Yatra prabhanda there is an interesting and 
intimate description of Mosur village. We learn from it that in that 
prosperous village many agnihotris and great sastric pandits were living 
in peace and pursuing higher learning. 

7. Balakavi: In his drama Nala charitra , Sri Nilkantha 
Dikshita grandson of Sri Appayya Dikshita’s brother, has given a verse 
by Balakavi. The verse which was in praise of the Parimala, which was a 
vyakhyana on Kalpataru by Sri Appayya Dikshita is as follows. 

SFIzidferT Mircqfti 

4c{|--ildH I 


In the above verse the poet states, that Sri Appayya Dikshita, 
was a giver to all givers, because even the Kalpataru which fulfils everyone’s 
wishes had to await the help of the explanation of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 
There is a pun here on the words Kalpataru and Vadanyata. Kalpataru 
which represents the kalpa vriksha is the divine giver of the wishes of 




everyone. Even that had to await the arlha by Sri Dikshita. 
The word ‘ artlia ’ means both ‘ meaning ’ and also ‘ riches Hence 
the pun. 

We also know from other evidence that Sri Appayya Dikshita 
got the patronage of several Vijayanagar, Vellore, etc. Kings to several 
other pandits and scholars also. 

Bala Kavi also belonged to the Mullandram family. His real 
name was Viraraghavan. He was named as Balakavi because even from 
his young age, he started writing poetry. A drama by him by name 
Ratna Ketudayam has been published. 

8. Bhattoji Dikshita: He was a great Vyakarana pandit who 
wrote the Siddhanta Kawnudi. He came from Benaras to the South 
in order to study vedunta and mimamsa under Sri Dikshita. 

Tradition has it, that he came to Adayapalam, and came to Sri 
Appayya Dikshita’s house. He saw an elderly gentleman w'ho was 
sitting on the pial clad in ordinary clothes, and not expecting Sri Appayya 
Dikshita, the world famous teacher, to be so simple, he asked him as 
to where Sri Appayya Dikshita was. Sri Dikshita then introduced 
himself as Sri Appayya Dikshita. Bhattoji even then could not imagine 
that he was Sri Appayya Dikshita, and replied to him, that many persons 
might be having the name of Sri Appayya Dikshita, but that he wanted to 
see the great writer, who wrote the Parimalci. Bhattoji perhaps thought 
that the old man was making fun of him. 

Sri Appayya Dikshita then replied to him in the following verse. 

WTltTtsfT H#?!: T 11 

The meaning of the above verse is that one should not respect 
external saratorial appearance only but one should really test the know¬ 
ledge of others. For example. Lord Parameswara had no cloths at all, 
but he is considered to be a Sarvagna or ‘ all knower ’ in the world. 

Sri Bhattoji realised his mistake and apologised to him and became 
his disciple and studied vedanta and mimamsa under him. 
He was introduced by Sri Appayya Dikshita to Venkatapati Raya, the 
Vijayanagar King and was patronised by him. At the instance of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita he wrote the book Tatva Kausthubha which 
was a denunciation of the Madhva creed, and affixed the Venkatapati 
Mudra also to it. 

After some years of sojourn in the South, Bhattoji went back to 
North India and spread the fame of Sri Appayya Dikshita, there. He 



had written the Siddantha Kaunnidi before coming to Sri Appayya 
Dikshita. Tradition has it that Sri Appayya Dikshila himself respected 
the high scholarship of this work and taught it to liis disciples. 

9. Jagannatha Pandita: Though Jagannatha Pandita was not a 
contemporary of Sri Appayya Dikshita, as has been discussed elsewhere, 
still, there is an interesting traditional account of his meeting Sri Appayya 
Dikshita at Benaras. There is a famous verse in the Sariici VHusa 
which is the fourth part of Bhamini K(7air/,jwhich is the basis for the story 
that Sri Appayya Dikshita and Sri Jagannatha Pandita were contempo¬ 
raries. The verse is as follows ; 


The story goes that once Pandita Jagannatha was sleeping with a 
beloved of his very near the steps leading to the Ganga. Sri Appayya 
Dikshita who had gone to Benaras was returning up the steps, after 
finishing his early morning ablutions, and the anusluluma in the river, 
and seeing a person sleeping, remonstrated with him for his utter 
irresponsibility and asked him whether he was not afraid of the other 
world. At that time Sri Jagannatha removed his blanket and recognised 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. The latter who knew him well, went away not 
wishing to pick up a quarrel with him. While going so, Sri Appayya 
Dikshita murmured to himself that there was no harm in sleeping because 
very near him was the Ganga, which could remove all the sins of one. 
Tradition has it, that Jagannatha on hearing this, became penitent and 
started composing verses in honour of the Ganga called Gangalahari in 
order to rid himself of his sins. Legendary accounts say that with every 
verse, the Ganga grew up by one step, and in the last verse, it came very 
near the place where Jagannatha was sleeping and gave him succour. 

We learn from his life history that Jagannatha was an Andhra by 
birth and was for long patronised by the Delhi emperor Shahjahan. He 
then earned the friendship of Dara and was given the title Pandita 
Raja. After Aurangazeb came to the throne, he lost his patronage and 
was living in Kamarup, under the patronage of Prananarayana. He lost 
his beloved wife there and underwent great hardship and came to 
Benaras towards the end of his days. 

He lived mainly in the 17th century A.D. and was later 
by 100 years to Sri Appayya Dikshita. He himself says about himself. 

'TTTT TTl” The emperor referred to 
is Shahjahan, whose rule was from 1628-1658 A.D. Shahjahan died 
in 1667 A.D. His commander was Asaf Khan. Jagannatha has 


praised Asaf Khan in his gadya kavya called Asafkhan Vilasa. He 
has sung the praises of Shahjahan in his famous Kavya Jagadabharana. 
Later it was renamed as Pranabharana and was said to be in praise 
of the King of Kamarupa Prananarayana. He lived in Delhi for a 
number of years even after the death of Shahjahan. He says in his 
works that he spent his youth in Delhi. It is said that at that age he 
contracted an alliance with a Yavana woman who was serving 
in the palace. The poem is traditionally 

said to have been composed by him about that woman. Because of this 
he was boycotted by his disciples. 

His Ganga Lahari and Karuna Lahari were works created during 
his penitent days. 

Jagannatha developed a great deal of animosity towards Sri 
Appayya Dikshita. In his Rasagangadhara, while condemning Sri 
Appayya Dikshita’s, Chitramimamsa, he gives him scant courtesy. 
Because of his natural jealousy, and perhaps because Bhattoji Dikshita, 
a great disciple of Sri Appayya Dikshita criticised in his Praudha 
Manorama, the vyakhyana on grammar written by Sri Seshakrishna called 
Prakriya Prakarana, and since Sri Seshakrishna had a son Sesha 
Visveswara, the guru of Perubhahatta father of Jagannatha, the latter 
calls Bhattoji as a guru drohi. He wrote a denunciation of Manorama. 

Sri Nagesa Bhatta who wrote a commentary on Rasagangadhara, 
has himself condemned the denunciations of Jagannatha. Moreover 
the younger brother of Sri Nilakantha Dikshita, by name Atiratrayaji 
has given a reply to Jagannatha’s criticisms. 

Because of these literary differences of opinion, tradition has 
placed Sri Appayya Dikshita and Jagannatha together. But there is no 
historical truth in this. However legendary the story may be, there is no 
doubt that it is a very interesting one. 

10. Tatacharya: During the time of Appayya Dikshita there 
were several Vaishnava and Madhva scholars who were very famous. 
The Rajaguru of the Karnataka king Ramaraja was the famous 
Tatacharya. This Tatacharya was a vigorous Vaishnava proselytiser 
and with the royal support he gave a great deal of trouble to saivites. 
There are a number of stories of the obstacles put in the way of Sri 
Appayya Dikshita by Sri Tatacharya and others. These have been 
discussed in greater detail elsewhere. 

11. Sri Vijayendra Bhikshu : The next important pandit who 
was contemporary to Sri Appayya Dikshita was the Madvacharya by 
name Sri Vijayendra Bikshu. He was the head of the Sumatindra Mutt. 
He was patronised both by Ramaraja of Vijayanagar and Sevappa Nayak 
of Tanjore. The work Ragavendra Vijayam which describes the tradi- 



tional greatness of the Madhvacharyas makes mention of Vijayendra 
Bikshu in the following verse. 



The above verse states that Vijayendracharya who was a great vidvan 
was honoured by Ramaraja and established several prosperous agraharas 
with the royal patronage. The Acharya next to him was patronised by 
Penukonda Venkatapati and Tanjore Raghunatha Nayaka. It is said 
that Vijayendra and Appayya Dikshita had several differences of opinion 
on matters of creed. He has written a work in condemnation of the 
work Madhvamata Vidhvamsana written by Sri Appayya Dikshita. 
In competition to Sri Appayya Dikshita, Sri Vijayendra Bikshu is also, 
said to have written more than 104 works. 

Chapter XVII 


Sri Dikshita Vamsabarana describes the last days of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita and gives a graphic description of his end. That description 
tallies more or less correctly with the details given in Sivananda yogi’s 
biography also. 

During his last days, Sri Appayya Dikshita wanted to live in the 
great Chidambara kshetra, and with this end in view, he left his native 
place of Adayapalam, and had the darshan of the Lord at Arunachala, 
Vriddhachala, and other sacred kshetras enroute and finally reached 
Chidambaram. He took up his residence in a village outside Chidam¬ 
baram, and was having the darshan of the Lord Nataraja everyday in 
the temple. Along with him, his intimate friends and disciples were 
living . Sri Sivananda while describing the state of mind of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita during these days says, that with the darshan of the Lord every¬ 
day, Sri Appayya Dikshita awakened the adharasakti and brought it 
upto the sahasrara, through the sushumna, and there, was having the 
darshan of Parvati and Parameswara in the form of light and was leading 
a life full of brahmananda. 

In the Sri Dikshitendravijaya another legendary account is also 
found. It is stated that the father of Sri Nilakanta Dikshita passed 
away in his middle age, and hence Sri Nilakanta Dikshita was brought 
up as the twelfth grandson along with the other eleven grandsons of 
Sri Appayya Dikshita. It is believed that Sri Nilakanta Dikshita was 
only twelve years of age, at the time of the demise of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 
While his end was approaching, Sri Appayya Dikshita wanted to give a 
share of his property to Nilakanta Dikshita, who was the grandson of 
his brother. But unfortunately it could nothappen in that manner, due to 
various reasons. Hence Sri Appayya Dikshita granted all his mental 
and spiritual gifts to Sri Nilakanta Dikshita. It is stated that he asked 
Sri Nilakanta Dikshita to bring two books from his library. Sri Nila¬ 
kanta Dikshita thereupon brought both the Devimahatmya and the 
Raghuvamsa. On seeing this, Sri Appayya Dikshita blessed him, saying, 
that he will become a great poet on account of the blessings of the supreme 
Goddess. Sri Nilakanta Dikshita lived for nearly forty years as a 
minister under the Madura Nayak king Tirumala Nayaka. He is the 
author of a number of mahakavyas and laghukavyas and was generally 
accepted as a Kavichakravarti. 

To his last day, Sri Appayya Dikshita was able to perform 
sivapuja and his Karmanusthana. He was running his 73rd year. One 



day he was lying down on the darbhasana awaiting his final release. 
Sri Nilakanta Dikshita came near him and asked him to give him and 
other disciples some advice for their betterment. Sri Appayya Dikshita 
replied in the following words : 

^trifg' ifir 

IT fesir qr^ni 

“This place Chidambaram is a very sacred kshetra. You, who are my 
descendants are full of good qualities. I have also written a few good 
works. My age is also over 70 years. I have attained a stage where I am 
attached to no kind of desire. I desire nothing that should be done to 
me. But I am only anxious to have daily the darshan of the feet of 
Lord Nataraja.” 

While he was saying the above, he had a mystic vision, in which 
he had the darshan of the lotus feet of the Lord. Immediately he broke 
out in ecstatic verse as follows : 

IFT% ^ ^’TTWlSinT II 

“ The splendour of the lotus feet of Kanakasabhapati or Lord Nataraja 
flashes before me as if the sun has risen in the sky ”. While saying this, 
Sri Appayya Dikshita attained eternal samadhi and freedom. 

On seeing this, Sri Nilakanta Dikshita filled up the half verse 
uttered by Sri Appayya Dikshita with his last breath, with the following 
further lines : 

SHTTcfr 11 

“ Since the Suryodaya has occured, it is certain that the dark night which 
is surrounded by devilish forces like birth, death, grief, disease etc. 
have really been extinguished.” 

While this incident was happening at his house, at the same time, 
in the temple of Lord Nataraja, the Dikshitas of the temple saw Sri 
Appayya Dikshita entering the temple suddenly and were greatly agitated. 
They thought that Sri Appayya Dikshita had come to the temple foi the 
darshan of the Lord, and were hurriedly gathering together the karpura 
and other material for giving him proper darshan. But at that time. 



Sri Appayya Dikshita was seen ascending the five steps of ‘panchaksharV 
in the temple, and became one with the divine murthy of the divine Lord 
within the garbhagriha. While the dikshitars were agitatedly talking 
about this miracle, this incident spread throughout the town and people 
flocked to the temple. 

While describing the above, Sri Raju Sastrigal, the author of 
Sri Dikshita vamsabharana reminds us of the prarthana of Sri Appayya 
Dikshita before the Lord in his Atmarpana stuti as follows : 

m ^ snRrfTT«T: 


cdcl'iM ftwr I 
^ ftf^WTWWlT RWnr 11 

“ If a person praises your lotus feet, at the time when his fife becomes 
extinct, then he can completely get over all the evils, that he has accumu¬ 
lated by being in the samsara. Hence, even though at the time of my 
final demise, I may be suffering a lot and undergoing a great deal of 
hardship, O! Lord Parameswara! my prayer to you is, that my inner 
conscience should at that time be fully immersed in the dhyana of your 
lotus feet.” 

The supreme Lord granted to the great devotee Sri Appayya 
Dikshita what he prayed of Him. 

Chapter XVIII 

Sri Achan Dikshita, brother of Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

Sri Appayya Dikshita was the son of Sri Rangaraja and the 
grandson of Sri Achan Dikshita. He liad a younger brother called 
Sri Achan Dikshita. We have a clear and fairly detailed description 
of the descendants of the younger brother of Sri Appayya Dikshita since 
the genealogical tree of this branch of the family has been preserved 
in verse by one Veeraraghava Kavi, in his work Achandikshitendra 
Vamsavali, which was edited by Sri Subrahmanya Sastry and published 
in 1923. 

Sri Achan Dikshita had two sons Narayana and Appay. 
Narayana, the first son, had five sons, viz., Achan, Ayya, Chinnappa, 
Chandrakalavatamsa and Atiratrayaji. It was this second son Ayya 
who became later the renowned and well-known Sri Nilakantha Dikshita 
and who served as the Prime Minister of Tirumalanayaka and others 
for more than four decades. 

Sri Nilakantha Dikshita: Sri Nilakantha Dikshita is generally 
believed to have been a young boy of 12 years old when his elder grand¬ 
father Sri Appayya Dikshita died. Sri Appayya Dikshita is said to have 
showered his choicest blessings upon him just before his demise, on 
account of the fact, that there was some difficulty to give a share to 
Nilakantha Dikshita in the general ancestral properties of the family. 
Sri Nilakantha Dikshita himself gives us information in his Nilakantha 
Vijaya Champu. 

We know that Sri Nilakantha Dikshita spent the evening of his 
life at Palamadai, a village on the left bank of Tamraparni river at a 
distance of about five miles down the river from Tinnevelly bridge. The 
village was given to him as a gift by his royal patron. Some of his 
descendants even now live in the same house in Palamadai which has 
since come to be known as Nilakantha Samudram in honour of its 
illustrious founder Nilakantha Dikshita. 

Originally held to be Telugii speaking, the descendants of Sri 
Appayya Dikshita belonged to that group of brahmins, who are known 
in Tamilnad as vadadesa vadama. Vadama in Tamil means one who 
came from the north. We should distinguish this branch of the settlers 
of 16th and 17th centuries A.D. from the earlier settlers in Tanjore 
and Trichy districts during the Vijayalaya Chola period, and who are 
generally known as Choladesa Vadamas. The brahmin settlers in South 



India during the Vijayanagar period remained aloof from the rest of the 
population for a brief while. The descendants of the Appayya Dikshita 
family were therefore a kind of intellectual refugees of the post Vijaya¬ 
nagar period, and his kinsmen and relations from generation to generation 
went far and wide in search of recognition of their deep learning and 

Sri Nilakantha Dikshita was a born genius, a poet, a philosopher 
and a highly distinguished statesman with a keenly receptive and penetrat¬ 
ing intellect. While the works of Sri Appayya Dikshita have earned a 
place for themselves for their breadth of vision, thoroughness of detail, and 
fullness of imagery, Sri Nilakantha Dikshita is pre-eminently a writer 
of renown and an authority on classical Sanskrit. His works exhibit the 
master hand which can deal fluently, and at the same time with over¬ 
flowing humour and suggestion, and which can easily supply food for 
deep thought, to the best discriminating critic. 

Among Sri Nilakantha Dikshita’s works, the better known are Kali- 
vidainhanam, Sabharmjanam, Anyapadesa satakam, Santi vilasam, Vairagya 
satakam, Ananda sagarustavam etc. which have all been published by Sri 
Vani Vilas Press, Srirangam. Among his greater poems can be mentioned 
the Siva Leelarnavam in 22 cantos and Gangavataranam in 8 cantos, 
which have also been published. His Nilakantha Vijaya Champu, 
Sivatatva Vyakhya or Sivothakarsha manjari have also been printed. 
Nalacharitra Nataka, a drama in five acts also is his composition. Sri 
Nilakantha Dikshita is also believed to have been the author of a 
commentary on Kayyata and some works on mimamsa though definite 
corroboration for this is still lacking. 

Traditional accounts about Sri Nilakanta Dikshita : There are many 
traditional and legendary accounts connected with Sri Nilakantha Dikshita 
which are worthy of note. 

One day while he was delivering lectures on Devimahatmya in 
the orthodox and soul stirring style of the ancient times the then puissant 
ruler. Thirumala Nayaka of the Pandya Kingdom at Madura was 
bewitched by the boy’s depth of wisdom, his brilliance and sublimity of 
speech, and made up his mind to make this matchless youth his Prime 
Minister and Court Pandit. In the midst of royal splendour and many 
a pleasure, he led a simple life of the pious, a serene life of the philo¬ 
sopher, an austere life of the recluse, and an intensely devoted life of 
the mystic. 

Under the direct supervision of Nilakantha, Sundara Murthy 
Asari who had reached the acme of perfection in art, chiselled the statue 
of the queen of Thirumala Nayaka for placing it in the Pandu Mandapam 
which wis under construction then, but to his misfortune an undesirable 



event took place. A thin slice flew away from the right thigh of the 
Queen’s statue making a conspicuous lacuna therein. Again he tried, 
but in vain. Nilakantha Dikshita of comprehensive visK.n knowing 
the mole in the thigh of the Queen, told the sculptor who was perturbed 
beyond description to leave the statue as it was. The King came to 
know the whole story,and was clouded with suspicion deluded by misunder¬ 
standing and fury, and with his confused intelligence commanded the arrest 
of Nilakantha. Nilakantha at this time was waving the arthi (camphor) to 
the Mother of Universe, Minakshi Devi staunch upasaka iheX he was. 
By the grace of the Mother and through intuitive perception, he knew of 
the storm raised in the mind of the King and of his command. He 
added some more camphor to the light and applied it to his eyes and 
blinded himself. The King heard of this tragic incident and came to his 
senses. Drowned in the ocean of repentance and remorse, the King ran 
to the crystal pure Nilakantha to beg pardon of him. Nilakantha out of 
compassion, tender feelings and intimate devotion, poured out his heart 
to the Mother in 105 verses for the restoration of his eyesight and to 
save the King from remorse. From that day Nilakantha released him.self 
out of the bonds that bound him to the royal court. Thirumala Nayaka, 
the ruler honoured him by presenting the Jagir of Palamadai four miles 
from Tinnevelly village. 

In his last days, the devotion-intoxicated Nilakantha who was a 
saint and sage wrote several works, about 32 in number, which are 
natural and spontaneous, sublime and elevating, scholarly and vibrant 
with feeling. He took to Sanyasa and entered into Samadhi. There is a 
story that he had taken an oath that neither he nor his future descendants 
would undertake Rajaseva. 

Sri' 'Vira Raghava Kavi the author of Actian Dikshilendra 
vwnsavali lived in Narayanammalpuram also known as Aravankulam and 
referred to in that work as Durva Tataka near Tinnevelly about fifty 
years ago. The work has been brought upto date with the help of his 
friends and relatives in correcting the errors in the illegible manuscripts 
and the work has been published in 1923. 

The Descendants of Nilakantha Dikshita : 

When Nilakantha left the Nayak Court sometime at the turn of the 
seventeenth century {i.e. just about 1610 A. D.) he was given the 
manya of the village of Palamadai on the bank of the Tamarabarni 
river. The life sketches of his descendants given below are borne out by 
family records and a detailed study of several such records, from different 
families of that period in the South will give a vivid picture of the political 
disintegration of the post 'Vijayanagar period, and side light the socio¬ 
economic facets of the family life and the village life in Tamilnad at 
that time. 



After Nilakaiitha’s death the Raja Thambula of the village of 
Palamadai, was vested with one Chithappa Upadhyaya who was a nephew 
of Appayya Dikshita, and paternal uncle of Nilakantha Dikshita. 

Appayya Dikshita’s younger Brother 

- I 

Nilakantha’s Father Chithappa Vadhyar 

1 I 

I _ First Cousins _ _ |_ 

Nilakantha Dikshita Kuppa Ava'dhani 

(Circa 1629) 

Little is known of the early elders of this branch of the family till circa 
1630 A.D. The chronology had been originally computed in the Kollam 
era, and later converted into the Christian era. Kuppa Avadhani is 
estimated to have lived upto a ripe old age. His son Subba Avadhani 
(Circa 1675-1761 A.D.) was the person who made the family prosperous. 
He earned many Kottahs of land, and was in very affluent circumstances. 
Even though Nilakantha Dikshita was the Prime Minister of Tirumala 
Nayaka, his uncle Chithappa Vadhiyar was his purohit, friend, philosopher 
and guide. By the time of his death, the family fortunes were at the 
lowest ebb, and it was left to Subba Avadhani to restore the prosperity of 
this historic household, by redeeming the manyas from the family 
indebtedness. In spite of his material prosperity and financial success, 
he renounced his earthly possessions and took to sanyasa, and died at 
the age of 87. His eldest son was Pundarikaksha. 

Pundarikaksha (or Kuppa Avadhani Il-Circa 1705-1791) also 
lived upto 87. He died only after he took Sanyasa. He was without a 
child for a long time. He wanted to take a second wife in order to beget 
a son. He went to Kallidaikurichi and consulted the Pandits there, who 
dissuaded him from bigamy, and advised him to read a rare manuscript 
copy of the Ramayana every day, and to conduct a great feast at a 
Samaradhana on the Pattabhisheka day. The scholars of Kallidai¬ 
kurichi gave him a palm-leaf-copy of the Ramayana in the Grantha 
script. Pundarikaksha returned to Palamadai and did as he was bid 
and was eventually blessed with a son. The above manuscript copy is 
still in the possession of the family and the facts regarding the life of 
Pundarikaksha are supported by records. 

Subba Avadhani II {alias Pitchu Thatha 1755-1841 A.D.) was a 
very pious man, and he was also nearly 86 when he died in his 
Sanyasa. His son was Venkatachalam (a/to Vengu Thatha 1798-1881). 

His eldest son Subramanyam {alias Chella Sastri-Circa 1835-1899 
A.D.) inherited a much smaller real estate from his father who spent away 
the properties substantially, due to the Sandarpanas he celebrated almost 



every day. His step brothers, Rama Sastry, Ayya Chithappa and Chami 
Chithappa partitioned the properties, and each of them became poorer 
by this experience. Chella Sastri could not, therefore, cope up with 
the liberal and luxurious traditions of his ancestors. He was a learned 
Pandit, and he could therefore eke out his livelihod by reading the epics 
and performing Katha Kalakshepas. He went to Varanasi twice in his 
life time on foot. He died suddenly and could not take to the 
Sanyasamarga. Here was the first, nay, the final break, from the system 
of Apath Sanyasam introduced in the lineage, right from the days of 
Nilakantha Dikshita. In the family tree, mostly, during the Grahasthas- 
rama the man survived the wife, and had to take to Sanyasa, and dedicate 
his life to the cause of winning real wisdom and spreading spirituahsm 
around. From the late nineteenth century, this trend is somehow reversed 
and the husbands predeceased their wives, and the Sanyasa fife got 
gradually unknown to the family, except in the exceptional case of a 
collateral line, viz., Swami Sivananda. 

Venkatachala Sastri (1854-1924) had to support his large family 
of ten children from the very meagre means of his inherited wealth in 
lands. He left the village in search of employment. He proceeded 
to the Travancore Samsthanam where the hope of securing some job 
was bright. In fact, because of the Samsthanam’s patronage to 
learning, many brahmins went to that native state. The Tamil brahmins 
who went earlier from the Tanjore and the Trichy districts (the Chola 
Desa Vadamas) are mostly known as the Palghat lyers as they settled 
down in that area bordering on the Coimbatore district and colonised 
many villages in the Malabar area. The brahmins of Tirunelveli who went 
to Travancore via the Ariyankkaavu Pass are mostly known in Kerala 
as the Pannadi Pattas (the brahmins from Pandya desa viz. the 
Tinnevelly district). 

The earlier names of this family smack of their Andhra origins. 
The prevalence of a large number of Telugu words and the currency of 
a number of Telugu proverbs in the family circles at Palamadai can be 
proved. The translation of the Telugu proverbs into colloquial Tamil is 
evident even in the usage of certain aphorisms and figures of speech, 
which are even to this day, used at their homes. The habit of worshipping 
Sri Venkateswara as the Kuladeva from the far off Tirunelveli and the 
convention of naming the first bom after the Lord of the Seven Hills 
cherish the memories of their Telugu affiliations in ages long gone by. 
Although the descendants of Appayya and Nilakantha Dikshitas have 
been enriched by the matrimonial connections with the villages of 
Pattamadai, Tharuvai, Aravamangalam, Perungulam and Kadayam, 
it is still true that all these villages, once upon a time, used to look upon 
the Palamadai family as the epicentre for their ancient wisdom. 



It is generally believed that Sri Appayya Dikshita bequethed his 
material possessions and earthly prosperity to his own children and his 
spiritual blessings and scholarly attainments to his grand nephew, 
Nilakantha Dikshita. This histories of these two direct lines at Adaya- 
palam in the North Arcot district and at Palamadai in the Tirunelveli 
district almost bear testimony to this day to this family belief. 

Genealogical Tree of Sri Appayya Dikshita's Descendants : 

The genealogical tree of the descendants of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
as preserved in the family of Mahamahopadyaya Sri Raju Sastrigal is 
given in Appendix I (tables 1 to 3) 

In Appendix II (tables 4 to 8) is given the family tree as preserved 
in the Achan Dikshitendra Vamsavali of Sri Viraraghava Kavi. 

In Appendix III (tables 9 to 11) yet another tree preserved in 
another family of the descendants of Sri Appayya Dikshita and written 
by Sri Swami Sastrigal of Tiruvadi is given. 

In Appendix IV (tables 12 to 22) is given the genealogical tree 
preserved in the family of Karathozhuvu Vaiyakarana Kesari Chinna 
Sastrigal (also called Suryanarayana Sastrigal) and prepared by his 
grandson Sri Subramanya Iyer son of Sri Ganapathi Sastrigal. 

In Appendix V (table 23) the tree as preserved in the family of 
Dr. C.P. Ramaswami Iyer is given. 

Some well-known Descendants of Sri Appayya Dikshita : 

Sri Rqjachudamani Dikshita: Apart from Sri Nilakantha 
Dikshita, Sri Appayya Dikshita’s brother-in-law Sri Rajachiidamani 
Dikshita was another great poet who wrote the Sankarabhyudaya, 
Rukminikalyana etc. Sri Appayya Dikshita’s sister’s son Samarapungava 
Dikshita has written the well-known Yatraprabandha. 

Mahamahopadhyaya Sri Raju Sastry: In the I9th century, a 
great and well-known descendant of Sri Appayya Dikshita was Mahama¬ 
hopadhyaya Sri Tyagaraja Mahendra Sri Mannargudi Raju Sastry the 
author of a biography of Sri Appayya Dikshita called Sri Dikshitendra 
Vijaya which has been referred to above. He was the ninth in the line 
of direct descendants from Sri Appayya Dikshita and was born on the 
28th May 1815 A.D. His immediate ancestors had lived in a village near 
Tiruvarur having acquired a grant there by the beginning of the 
18th century A.D. But the original home of the family was Adayapalam. 
His fatlier was Margasahaya or Appa dikshitar who was a well-known 
poet and who lived in the village Kuttambadi. 



Sri Raju Sastry learnt the Samaveda under his grand father, though 
he had his early education in Kavyas, Nalakas etc., under his father. 
.\t fifteen years of age, he could speak and compose beautifully in Sanskrit. 
He was a great dialectician and a respected scholar. He has written 
a number of works like Sadvidyavitaha, Vedantavada Sangndui 
Upadhivichara, Brahma vidya larangani vyakhya, commentaries on 
Sivatatva viveka, sivamahima kalakistuti of Sri Appayya Dikshita and a 
number of other stotras like Tyagarajastava etc. 

Disciples of Sri Raju Sastrigal : Sri Raju Sastrigal had a number 
of disciples who became well-known on their own like Mahamahopadyaya 
Harihara Sastrigal, Mahamahopadyaya Ganapati Sastrigal, Mahamaho- 
padyaYagna Swami Sastrigal etc. Sri Yagnaswami Sastrigal has written 
a Sanskrit biography of his grandfather and guru in the form of a 
champu whereas Sri Ganapati Sastry’s work Gururajastava is an eloquen 
poem on his guru and is full of fervent devotion. 

Nadukkaveri Srinivasa Sastrigal and Palamaneri Sundara Sastrigal, 
Sri Krishnamacharya son of Sri Gopalacharya, Malladi Ramakrishna 
Sastry, Palghat Chandra Sekhara Sastry and others were all well-known 
disciples of Sri Raju Sastrigal. 

Sri Raju Sastrigal’s grandson Sri Yagnaswami Sastrigal was also 
a well-known poet, and his son Sri Y. Mahalinga Sastry has done much 
research in the life and times of Sri Appayya Dikshita. 

Among other renowned descendants of Sri Appayya Dikshita 
could he mentioned Swami Sivananda, the founder of the Divine 
Life Society and a great scholar and a saint who attained salvation a 
few years ago, at Rishikesh. 

Yet another illustrious descendant of that family was Sri V.Venkayya, 
son of Sri Arani Appa Sitaramayya, who was a great epigraphist. He 
has rendered great service to the cause of Indian History. 

Dr. C.P. Ramaswami Iyer the great scholar, statesman, and writer 
was also born in the same family. His great contribution to the propa¬ 
gation of Indian culture and thought are well-known, apart from his 
monumental works in the fields of education etc. 

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Sami Mahalinga Viswanatha Sundara Sambamurthi 

Adopted by Tbyagaraja Dikshita 

Mahamahopadyaya Yagnaswami Sastrigal (1876-1940) 

Kavi sarva bhuama Mahalinga Sastrigal (Died 1967) 

AHPENMX1 (Table 2) 


Shriaw((.An«jryB DikiMiMilim 

Sirimad Aduo DicBhia 

kifafta. Madwa 
A PKlktnufi 

ChinappAyyt DtuksWU 
(Adeiittd wa of Apmrya 
DWkMa n 

CiMidn Kikvktnnst. 

Appayyi Suoaara 


SaiAam IMIaMta 

1. Owasmmi 

2. AoM 

3. Caaftpatbi 

4. Shuvnini 

5. Sundum 

SwMii Itfikki 


AM» ^ 

Adim A^m (Swyuianiytna) Swami (Sm taUt m A) Sunan Pa y wt 

AppajTa (T«q}om) 

Ain SM 

NUatomta Swanil 
bfinLaja Kclm Sutri 


PathaivaU Sola Sascry Anal* Narayaita Nelakana 

I Pathaaiali, Sankan, Ayy* S*stri» SuUm Sascri, Nikkaou, 

Swami Rama Swami Nilakanta 

SamaSastii. Gai^aOri 

Saimi Setry Ganapathy 

Subramnya Antu Sastry 

Ouruswajni Kuppa Vei^ Subba 


APPENDIX II (Table 4) 

Adiban Dikshita (8 villas^. 8 sacrifices^ 8 siva (emplcs, 8 sons, and 8 tanks^ piUrontzed t»y Krishna Raya) 

Sankaresa (Three sons residing at Durva cataka) 

Ayya Dikshita 
(Nilakanta Dikshiia) 

appendix I {Table 3)-A APPENDIX 1 {Table 3)-B 

Subramatiia Sastry Ramachandra 

Patronized by Tirumala Nayaka of Madhra 

Narayana Kant! 

APPENDIX n (TcAk 6) 

Ayya Dikshita (Nilakantha DiksMta) 

Ayya Dik$hi<a (Nilakaniha DikshUa) 

Subba Sastry 





Neukahta mksistar 

R&tnaswacny Samba Murthy Balasubremanian 

APPEND m (Table II) 

Aftavya ^kshitak 

Yasaawua Dikshittir 
(f/tau .tee Taik 9 
far kk JaeatdoHU) 

PnUakaia DikshMar 
ifkau set TMt 10 

Yagna DikthMar Sami^DOcdiitar 

Subrahmann mohitar | 


n^ri j 

VawdmSaatri I 

T>iitarRia Sanri 
(Raju Sastri) 
Kan^u Sastri 

Y. Mahalintam Viswanaihan Krbbttamunby Sambaslvan S. * 

rri flastrigal Matalingam Viswanadba I)«r 

Nilafeanta Dikthilar 
Sami ^><kdriiar 
Marga iMshitar 

‘ Sree Vakshasthala Ganapathi Dikshitar ’ 

Subramanya Dikshitar 
alias Subba Dikshitar 
(He had 7 sons and 3 daughters) 

(Please see Appendix IV, tables 13 and 14) 
for his descx^ndants 

APPENDIX IV (Table 14) 

Genealogical Table of Subramanya Dkshitar Alias Subba Dikshitar 






o ^ 




^j2 8J2 
!S ■3 







5 § 





3 .•§ 

2 Q 

J2 ca 

_ Ul 

-I 1 

S i 

rt -g 

■§ I 

05 2 










•S S 

ca a 

m ° 
















Ramanadha Sastri (by adoption) child) 

Suadara Ri^n Sankara Subramanian 


APPENDIX IV (Table 17) 

Chinnappa. !• Karayana Iyer. 2. Venkataraioa Iyer 

(3 Sons and 1 daughter hv 1st wife and 4 sons and 2 dau^teia second wife 

Sattf»naiMn alias Rajannani 



. Narayanan. 2. Subramanian. 3. Dass. 4. Kumar. 4. Chandrasekharan. 

sons and 1 daughter by Ist mfe and 4 tons and 2 daughtm by 2ad wife) 

1 . Venkatarama Sastri 2. Subramanta Iyer 3. Narayana Iyer 

Ganapathi Venkataraman 

Vecraraghavan Narayanan